House impeachment manager Jamie Rankin has requested former President Donald Trump to testify in his Senate impeachment trial, and Trump has declined to do so.
“The president will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding,” Trump senior adviser Jason Miller told Fox News on Thursday, Feb. 4.
Trump’s legal team has called the request a “public relations stunt” and says they “cannot prove” the allegations against him.
House impeachment officers requested that Trump testifies under oath either before or during the trial, about “his conduct” on Jan. 6, when a riot happened allegedly by Trump supporters at Capitol Hill, at the same time that Trump was holding a rally downtown.
“We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt,” Trump’s attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen wrote. “As you certainly know, there is no such thing as a negative inference in this unconstitutional proceeding.”
“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,” they continued.
They added: “The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games.”
Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, (D-Md.), on Thursday, wrote a letter to Trump, saying he has “attempted to put critical facts at issue notwithstanding the clear and overwhelming evidence of your constitutional offense.”
“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,” Raskin 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.”
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.”
The House voted Jan. 13 to impeach Trump 232 to 197, with 10 Republicans voting with Democrats. The Senate impeachment trial will begin on Feb. 9.
Trump’s legal team’s answer denies that Trump violated his oath of office while also saying that the First Amendment protected him in response to claims he incited an insurrection.
House impeachment managers request an answer by 5.00 pm on Friday, Feb. 5.