Donald Trump refuses to testify under oath in the trial in which the US Senate is going to judge whether the former president is guilty of inciting an insurrection. His lawyers David Schoen and Bruce Castor write that in response to an official request from Democratic Prosecutors in the House of Representatives.
In a letter, the so-called impeachment managers of the House gave Trump the opportunity to testify on Monday, one day before the start of the trial. The testimony including cross-examination should take place no later than next Thursday, writes Jamie Raskin, who acts as head of the prosecution team.
If Trump refuses, it could have a negative impact on the assessment of his actions, or the lack of them, around the storming of Parliament in Washington on January 6, Raskin said.
Trumps counselors speak of a “PR stunt.” They argue that the call to testify shows that there is no evidence against Trump, who is now “a citizen”. The use of the Constitution for the impeachment process “is far too important to try to play games”, the lawyers said.
The Democrats in parliament argue that Trump, in a speech, has incited his supporters to revolt. Raskin writes that there is overwhelming evidence that Trump acted unconstitutionally. The former President had contradicted this in a previous defence, but according to Raskin, he has put aside all sorts of factual claims.
Senators from both Democratic and Republican houses want to keep the impeachment process short. The likelihood of Trump being found guilty is considered small, as it is expected that there is insufficient support among Republican senators.