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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Trump Will Not Testify at Senate Impeachment Trial, Legal Team Says

With just a few days until Trump’s second impeachment trial the Senate, the House impeachment managers requested that he testify under oath before or during the proceeding. 

Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) wrote the following in a letter. 

“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,” he continued. 

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.”

Simply put, a threat that if he doesn’t comply, it will be used against him during the trial. 

But, as expected, Trump’s legal team shot back, immediately denying the request. 

“The president will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding,” Trump senior adviser Jason Miller told Fox News Thursday. 

His legal team called the request “a public relations stunt,” urging that this proves that they “cannot prove” the allegations brought forth against Trump.  

“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 added. 

“The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games.” 

The trial, set to begin on February 8, is sure to be an event lacking in suspense.

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