Wednesday, December 1

Donald Trump rejects calls to testify in his impeachment

House impeachment managers have requested Donald trump testify at his upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate, in a dramatic move to try to get the former president of the United States to record his conduct surrounding the Jan. 6 riots on Capitol Hill.

But Trump’s legal team was quick to respond by rejecting the invitation in a concise response to the House impeachment team, returning the decision to Democrats on whether to try to compel Trump’s testimony with a subpoena.

Representative Jamie Raskin, senior manager of impeachment, sent a letter to Trump’s attorney today requesting that Trump testify before or during the next impeachment trial, which begins Tuesday, arguing that his testimony was necessary after he questioned the allegations of the House of which incited the insurrection in the Capitol.

Attorneys for former US President Donald Trump rejected an appeal for him to testify at his impeachment trial. (AFP via Getty Images)

“Two days ago, he filed a response in which he denied many factual allegations set out in the impeachment article,” wrote Rep. Raskin, a Maryland Democrat.

“Therefore, you have tried to challenge critical facts despite the clear and overwhelming evidence of your constitutional offense. In light of your challenge to these factual allegations, I am writing to invite you to testify under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial, on his conduct on January 6, 2021. “

Trump’s attorneys responded quickly to Representative Raskin’s request today, responding in a three-paragraph letter, saying the request was a sign that the House could not prove its allegations against Trump.

“Using our Constitution to initiate an alleged impeachment process is too serious to attempt to play these games,” wrote Trump attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen.

Adviser Jason Miller confirmed that Trump was rejecting the request, telling CNN: “The president will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding.”

U.S. House Secretary Cheryl Johnson, Rep. Jamie Raskin, and Rep. David Cicilline walk through the Capitol Statute Hall to deliver impeachment article for incitement to insurrection against former President Donald Trump in the Senate January 25. (AP)

Senior advisers convinced Trump not to come to the House to defend himself before his second impeachment in January, a similar tactic he also considered the first time he was indicted.

The swift denial of the request for testimony raises the question of whether Democrats will attempt to subpoena Trump to testify at trial.

The House letter does not mention a subpoena.

Rep. Raskin instead suggested that impeachment managers would use their denial against him, writing: “We reserve any and all rights, including the right to establish at trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference. with respect to your actions. “

Rep. Raskin declined to comment when asked if he would subpoena Trump if he declined to appear.

In the first impeachment trial, Democrats sought testimony from Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, not from Trump himself.

But the Democrats’ attempt to subpoena Bolton failed after Republicans voted against hearing from witnesses at the trial before Trump was acquitted.

The question of whether House managers would seek witnesses loomed at the start of Trump’s second impeachment trial next week, as senators from both parties have been urging a speedy trial so the Senate can move forward and work on the agenda. from President Joe Biden.

The former president has been accused of inciting a riot on the Capitol in early January. (Getty)

But House administrators and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been silent on the witness issue until today’s letter.

Senators from both parties appeared to squash the idea today.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, said it would be a “dog and pony show.”

Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, called it a “terrible idea.”

“Do you know President Trump?” Senator Coons told reporters when asked to explain their thinking.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina who is a close ally of the former president, said it would not be “in anyone’s interest” for Trump to testify.

“It’s just a political move to do this, and they didn’t call it to the House,” Sen. said. Graham.

While Trump’s testimony in a Senate trial would create a made-for-television moment at the trial, it is unclear whether it would change the outcome of the trial.

Forty-five of the 50 Republican senators voted last week to support the dismissal of the trial on the grounds that an impeachment for a former president is unconstitutional.

When asked if House managers were heading toward a possible acquittal of Trump because of that vote, Pelosi responded, “They don’t know.”

“Why don’t we just wait and let them make their case,” Pelosi said.

“If we don’t continue with this, we might as well remove any sanction from the Constitution.”

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather in front of the United States Capitol in Washington (Photo: January 6, 2021)
Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, some climbing the walls. (AP)

The House of Representatives accused Trump last month of inciting insurrection on Capitol Hill.

In a pretrial brief filed Tuesday, House impeachment managers accused Trump of being “singularly responsible” for the deadly riots, saying that Trump’s actions spreading false conspiracy theories that the elections were stolen incited his supporters to attack the Capitol and try to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power by preventing Congress from certifying the election.

Trump’s lawyers argued in legal brief Tuesday that the Senate impeachment was unconstitutional because Trump was no longer president and Trump did not incite the rioters.

Trump’s legal team also argued that Trump’s speech was protected by the First Amendment, while holding that Trump’s false claims about the election could not be proven inaccurate.

In today’s letter, Rep. Raskin asked that Trump testify sometime between Monday and Thursday of next week.

The trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

Donald Trump’s last moments as president

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *