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Trump's attorneys quickly reject request by House impeachment managers to testify at Senate trial

Donald Trump, president white house
Posted at 1:41 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 18:02:41-05

House impeachment managers, the several representatives who will represent the case for impeachment in the Senate trial against former President Donald Trump next week, requested that the former president testify. His attorneys quickly said no.

Thursday morning, in a letter shared publicly, Congressman Jamie Raskin formally sent a letter to Trump and his two attorneys stating “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.”

In the letter asking Trump to testify, Raskin writes "Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton both provided testimony while in office—and the Supreme Court held just last year that you were not immune from legal process while serving as President—so there is no doubt that you can testify in these proceedings."

In response, Trump's legal team said the request for the former president to testify was a sign the House could not prove its allegations.

An adviser to Trump, Jason Miller, told CNN the former "president will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding."

The House has approved an article of impeachment against Trump for incitement of insurrection. The article and evidence around it will be presented during a trial in the Senate starting Tuesday, February 9.

In a pre-trial brief filed this week by Trump’s attorneys, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, they argued the former president cannot be convicted because he is no longer in office. This point has been debated by legal scholars, and there is no clear answer.

The former president's attorneys also say Trump’s comments before and on January 6 are protected under the First Amendment.

The House impeachment managers, in their pre-trial brief, say there is history and precedent to justify holding a trial and convict Trump. They point out that the article of impeachment was voted on while he was still in office, for actions taken while he was in office.

The House of Representatives voted to impeach former President Trump for the second time in his presidency on Jan. 13. Just seven days before he left office.