“Two days in the past, you filed an Reply wherein you denied many factual allegations set forth within the article of impeachment,” Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, wrote. “You may have thus tried to place vital info at situation however the clear and overwhelming proof of your constitutional offense. In mild of your disputing these factual allegations, I write to ask you to offer testimony underneath oath, both earlier than or through the Senate impeachment trial, regarding your conduct on January 6, 2021.”
Trump’s attorneys rapidly responded to Raskin’s request on Thursday, writing again to Raskin to accuse the Democrats of a “public relations stunt.”
“The usage of our Structure to carry a purported impeachment continuing is way too severe to attempt to play these video games,” wrote Trump’s attorneys, Bruce Castor and David Schoen.
Senior aides talked Trump out of going to the Home ground to defend himself forward of his second impeachment in January, the same tactic he additionally thought of the primary time he was impeached.
The Home’s letter didn’t threaten to subpoena Trump if he doesn’t seem voluntarily, although Raskin urged the managers would use his refusal in opposition to him, writing, “We reserve any and all rights, together with the proper to ascertain at trial that your refusal to testify helps a powerful antagonistic inference relating to your actions.”
Raskin declined to remark Thursday when requested whether or not he would subpoena Trump if he declined to look.
The query of whether or not the Home managers would search witnesses had been looming over the beginning of subsequent week’s trial, as senators in each events have been urging a speedy trial so the Senate can transfer on and work on President Joe Biden’s agenda. However the Home managers and Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi had remained quiet on the query of witnesses till Thursday’s letter.
Senators in each events appeared to pan the concept on Thursday.
Sen. Joe Manchin, a reasonable West Virginia Democrat, mentioned it will be a “canine and pony present.” Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, referred to as it a “horrible thought.”
“Have you ever met President Trump?” Coons mentioned to reporters when requested to elucidate his considering.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who’s a detailed ally of the previous President, mentioned it would not be “in anyone’s curiosity” for Trump to testify.
“It is only a political showboat transfer to do that, and so they did not name him within the Home,” Graham mentioned.
Whereas Trump’s testimony at a Senate trial would create a made-for-TV second on the trial, it is unclear whether or not it will change the end result of the trial. Forty-five of the 50 Republican senators voted final week to assist dismissing the trial on the bottom that an impeachment trial for a former president is unconstitutional.
Requested Thursday whether or not the Home managers have been strolling into a possible acquittal of Trump due to that vote, Pelosi shot again, “They do not know that.”
“Why do not we simply wait and allow them to make their case” Pelosi mentioned. “If we have been to not comply with up with this we’d as effectively take away any penalty from the Structure.”
The Home impeached Trump final month on a cost of inciting the rebellion on the Capitol. In a pretrial transient filed Tuesday, the Home impeachment managers accused Trump of being “singularly accountable” for the lethal riots, saying Trump’s actions spreading false conspiracy theories that the election was stolen incited his supporters to assault the Capitol and attempt to disrupt the peaceable switch of energy by stopping Congress from certifying the election.
Trump’s attorneys argued in a authorized transient Tuesday that the Senate impeachment trial was unconstitutional as a result of Trump was now not president, and that Trump didn’t incite the rioters. Trump’s authorized workforce additionally argued that Trump’s speech was protected by the First Modification, whereas contending that Trump’s false claims in regards to the election couldn’t be confirmed inaccurate.
Within the letter Thursday, Raskin requested that Trump testify someday between Monday and Thursday subsequent week. The trial is slated to start on Tuesday.
This story has been up to date with extra developments Thursday.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.