The Democratic House impeachment managers want former President Donald Trump to testify under oath during his impeachment trial in the Senate. The request was made in response to legal briefs filed by Trump's attorneys that suggested the trial is unconstitutional and said that his comments were protected under the First Amendment.
"Two days ago, you filed an Answer in which you denied many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment," lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin wrote in a letter to Trump's lawyers. "You have thus 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."
The letter did not say if the Democrats would subpoena Trump but suggested that his refusal would be used against him during the trial.
"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," Raskin wrote.
Trump has no obligation to testify during the trial, and his legal team blasted the impeachment process in a three-paragraph letter.
"We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt. As you certainly know, there is no such thing as a negative inference in this unconstitutional proceeding," attorneys Bruce Castor and 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."
While the letter did not say if Trump would testify, one of his advisors, Jason Miller, told CNN that "the president will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding."
The House impeached Trump days before he left office, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in a January 6 riot during which a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building.
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