Trump Rejects Request To Testify At Impeachment Trial
House Democrats had asked Donald Trump to testify under oath for his Senate impeachment trial, challenging him to respond to their charge that he incited a violent mob to storm the Capitol.
Although Democrats might not have the power to force Trump’s testimony, the request from House impeachment managers is part of their overall effort to put the violent events of Jan. 6 on the record for history and hold him accountable for his words.
Democrats will look to use his refusal to testify against him as they argue that the ex-president has avoided responsibility for his actions.
Hours after the Democrats’ Thursday request was revealed, Trump’s adviser Jason Miller dismissed the trial as “an unconstitutional proceeding” and said the former president would not testify.
Separately, Trump’s lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen responded hours later that the letter proves that Democrats “cannot prove your allegations” and that an impeachment trial is too serious “to try to play these games”, denouncing the request as a “public relations stunt.”
David Schoen, Trump’s lead defense lawyer, in a letter to 10 House impeachment managers said their request for sworn testimony from Trump proves his claim that the trial is unconstitutional.
We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt. 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.
On January 6, five people, including a Capitol Police officer, were killed in a bloody attack on the Capitol that supporters of Trump launched in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying Biden as the winner of 2020 election.
The attackers stormed the Capitol after Trump urged them at a rally outside the White House to “fight like hell” to stop the certification while regurgitating his false claims about the election being “stolen” from him.
House of Representatives impeached Trump a week after the assault on a single count of “incitement of insurrection”.
Senate will now decide whether to convict Trump and it could vote to subpoena Trump for testimony.
However, a subpoena would require at least 51 votes and even some Democratic senators oppose the idea of giving Trump a platform.
Even though he’s out of office, a conviction would allow the Senate to separately vote to bar Trump from ever holding or running for public office again. He would also lose out on benefits extends to former presidents.