Donald Trump has refused to testify at his impeachment trial despite calls to provide testimony under oath.
Requesting the former president’s presence and testimony at his upcoming impeachment trial, Lead Impeachment Manager Rep. Jamie Raskin told Trump that they reserve the right to use his refusal to testify against him in the trial.
“In light of your disputing these factual allegations, I write to invite you to provide testimony under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial, concerning your conduct on January 6, 2021,” the letter wrote.
“We would propose that you provide your testimony (of course including cross-examination) as early as Monday, February 8, 2021, and not later than Thursday, February 11, 2021. We would be pleased to arrange such testimony at a mutually convenient time and place.”
Concluding the letter, Raskin added:
“If you decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights, including the right to establish at trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference regarding your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021.”
Following the request, Jason Miller, Trump’s adviser, confirmed that “the president will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding” in a statement to DailyMail.com.
Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers branded the letter the “latest public relations stunt” as they suggested the Democrats want to challenge the former president to defend himself at the trial due to a lack of factual evidence that he incited the insurrection.
Since the House doesn’t have the authority to summon the 45th president, the invitation was their only hope of getting Trump to participate in his impeachment trial.
Confirming that Trump would not be attending his impeachment trial, Attorney Bruce Castor gave a firm ‘no’ as he dubbed the controversial letter a publicity stunt in an interview with NBC News.
Responding to the request, Castor and Attorney David Schoen wrote: “Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th president of the United States, who is now a private citizen.”
“The use of our constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games,” the lawyers added.
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