House impeachment managers have requested that former President Trump testify at his upcoming Senate impeachment trial.
Impeachment manager Jamie Raskin (D., Md.) sent a letter to Trump’s legal team requesting the testimony. Raskin argued that the testimony was needed because Trump denied allegations set forth in the article of impeachment, which accuses the former president of “incitement of insurrection.”
“Two days ago, you filed an Answer in which you denied many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment,” Raskin wrote. “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.”
“If you decline the 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.” Raskin continued.
Trump adviser Jason Miller says he won’t testify in the Senate impeachment trial. In a letter to Raskin, Trump’s lawyers called the invitation a “public relations stunt.” pic.twitter.com/3hBJPQS5h2
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) February 4, 2021
Trump’s legal team called Raskin’s request a “public relations stunt,” although lawyers Bruce Castor and David Schoen did not explicitly rule out in-person testimony by the former president.
Trump is accused of inciting a mob of his supporters to amass at the Capitol on January 6, while Congress was in the process of certifying the election results. The mob breached the building and forced lawmakers to evacuate, and five people died amid the riot and its aftermath, including a Capitol police officer.
Senate Democrats need the support of 17 Republican colleagues in order to convict Trump. Initially, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was reportedly pleased with the idea of impeaching the former president, viewing it as a way to purge Trump from the Republican party.
However, much of the Senate GOP is opposed to impeachment, and a conviction appears increasingly unlikely.
Editor’s note 4:30 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect that the former president’s legal team responded to the request for testimony.