Former President Trump’s legal team swiftly rejected the House impeachment managers’ request on Thursday for the Mar-a-Lago resident to testify at his own impeachment trial next week by dismissing the request as a “public relations stunt.”
In a letter to the former president earlier Thursday, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the lead House impeachment manager, gave Trump a chance to “provide testimony under oath” after disputing “many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment” against the former president for “incitement of insurrection.”
Raskin wrote that Trump would be subjected to “cross-examination” if he testified and offered any date between Feb. 8 and Feb. 11 for the former president to do so.
Raskin added that if Trump declines the invitation to testify, “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.”
Trump’s attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen dismissed the House impeachment managers’ request in a three-paragraph letter sent to Raskin later Thursday. Castor and Schoen slammed the request as a “public relations stunt” before deploying Republicans’ disputed legal argument of an impeachment trial against Trump being unconstitutional now that the former president is out of office.
“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,” Trump’s attorneys wrote. “The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games.”
Trump adviser Jason Miller echoed the same disputed legal argument, telling CNN on Thursday that the former president “will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding.”
Read the letter by Trump’s impeachment lawyers below: