Donald Trump said he’d love to testify under oath during the impeachment inquiry and is “strongly” considering it. Here a few other things he’d love to do almost as much:
1. Jog for an hour with ankle weights on a treadmill.
2. Drink a gallon of lime vinegar.
3. Roll around naked in an ant pile.
Seriously -- Trump will never give about squeezing Ukraine officials for dirt on Joe Biden, or anything else he's done. The moment he'd raise his right hand and solemnly swear is when to expect a lightning bolt to split the Capitol rotunda.
The Big Orange Trumpster is psychologically unequipped to tell the truth, and surprisingly inept at faking it.
Experienced liars usually say they can't remember, can't recall or have "no recollection." Trump provided answers like that when Special Counsel Robert Mueller sought an interview, but the responses were submitted on paper and composed by Trump's attorneys.
Whenever the president gets in front of a live microphone -- and a huge TV audience -- all he wants to do is perform. He can't help himself. He gets seized by an uncontrollable urge to toss away the script and start shooting off his mouth.
That’s okay for a campaign rally at a fairground in Pensacola, but it would be phenomenally idiotic to try that approach as the main witness in an impeachment inquiry.
Trump, whose ego is as big as the Hindenburg, truly believes he's sharper than all the people advising him and all the people investigating him. There are no 12-step programs for such a disorder.
If he actually chose to testify, he wouldn't have the self-discipline to tell the safe lie and claim to have gaps in his memory. He'd rather preen and improvise, which would be a nightmare for the Republican lawmakers who are struggling to defend him.
Perjury is an impeachable offense. That's how Bill Clinton got nailed -- not for having sex with a White House intern, but for lying about it under oath.
Clinton, whose ego is as outsized as Trump's, never testified publicly before Congress. He was way too smart for that.
Trump isn't as nearly as clever, but he won't testify, either. His staff would lock him inside the West Wing pantry before they'd let him take a motorcade to Capitol Hill and sit down in front of that House committee.
The whole family -- Melania, Jared, Ivanka, Tiffany, even Don Jr., and Eric -- would stage an intervention, if necessary, to keep Trump from speaking under oath.
And while part of the president's psyche is undoubtedly itching to stage a dramatic performance for the impeachment panel, a more primal part doesn't want to be spending all day, every day, with criminal defense lawyers.
Trump has seen what happened to close associates who got caught lying, a growing list that includes his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen, campaign manager Paul Manafort, national security adviser Michael Flynn and, most recently, his flaky pal Roger Stone.
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All were prosecuted, convicted and are either in prison or await sentencing. Clearly the president has drawn a lesson from their fates: He has ordered key administration officials not to appear before the House committee investigating the Ukraine deal.
As a result, not one of the men who could supposedly exonerate Trump has given sworn testimony, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Ramblin' Rudy Giuliani.
Either the president is scared that one or more of them might pull a Gordon Sondland and cop to the truth, or that they'll get charged with perjury if they lie.
Meanwhile, it's not as if Trump is being muzzled. He can still rant festively at rallies and lie feverishly on Twitter, though he might be more credible with a grammar coach at his side.
The new White House position is that while the president would like to testify in person, he's been advised not to do it because the House proceedings are (despite the vocal presence of many Republicans) partisan and unfair.
That was the line last week from ex-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, an amusing addition to Trump's lightweight media-crisis team. "A sham court," Bondi called the impeachment inquiry after conceding that Trump would "probably not" appear.
She spoke those words less than 48 hours after the president tweeted that he was "strongly" considering testifying. Obviously, he wasn't serious. It was just another dumb, impulsive lie.
Be honest. If you were his attorney, would you let him flap that big mouth under oath?
Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for the Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Miami, Fla., 33172.
© 2019 Miami Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC