However Trump’s authorized group rapidly responded by rejecting the invitation in a terse response to the Home impeachment group, placing the choice again on the Democrats over whether or not to attempt to compel Trump’s testimony with a subpoena.
“Two days in the past, you filed an Reply through which 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 information at challenge 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 below oath, both earlier than or throughout the Senate impeachment trial, regarding your conduct on January 6, 2021.”
Trump’s legal professionals rapidly responded to Raskin’s request on Thursday, writing again in a three-paragraph letter, saying the request was an indication the Home couldn’t show its allegations towards Trump.
“Using our Structure to deliver a purported impeachment continuing is way too severe to attempt to play these video games,” wrote Trump’s attorneys, Bruce Castor and David Schoen.
Trump adviser Jason Miller confirmed that Trump was rejecting the request, telling CNN, “The President won’t testify in an unconstitutional continuing.”
Senior aides talked Trump out of going to the Home flooring to defend himself forward of his second impeachment in January, the same tactic he additionally thought-about the primary time he was impeached.
The swift rejection of the request for testimony raises the query of whether or not Democrats will attempt to subpoena Trump to testify for the trial. The Home’s letter didn’t point out a subpoena. Raskin as a substitute steered the impeachment managers would use his refusal towards him, writing, “We reserve any and all rights, together with the correct to determine 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 seem.
On the first impeachment trial, Democrats sought testimony from Trump’s former nationwide safety adviser John Bolton, not Trump himself. However the Democrats’ try to subpoena Bolton failed after Republicans voted towards listening to from any witnesses within the trial earlier than Trump was acquitted.
The query of whether or not the Home managers would search witnesses had been looming over the beginning of Trump’s second impeachment trial subsequent week, 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 average West Virginia Democrat, mentioned it will be a “canine and pony present.” Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, known as it a “horrible thought.”
“Have you ever met President Trump?” Coons mentioned to reporters when requested to elucidate his pondering.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who’s an in depth 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, they usually 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 result of the trial. Forty-five of the 50 Republican senators voted final week to help 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 properly take away any penalty from the Structure.”
The Home impeached Trump final month on a cost of inciting the rebel on the Capitol. In a pretrial temporary 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 legal professionals argued in a authorized temporary Tuesday that the Senate impeachment trial was unconstitutional as a result of Trump was not president, and that Trump didn’t incite the rioters. Trump’s authorized group additionally argued that Trump’s speech was protected by the First Modification, whereas contending that Trump’s false claims concerning 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 further developments Thursday.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.