Impeachment managers ask Trump to testify at trial
CNN, 05 Feb 2021
The House impeachment managers on Thursday requested Donald Trump testify at his upcoming Senate impeachment trial, in a dramatic move to try to get the former President on the record about his conduct surrounding the January 6 riots at the Capitol.
Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin sent a letter to Trump's attorney Thursday requesting that Trump testify before or during the upcoming impeachment trial, which begins on Tuesday, arguing that his testimony was needed after he disputed the House's allegations that he incited the insurrection at the Capitol.
"Two days ago, you filed an Answer in which you denied many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment," Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, 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."
It was not immediately clear how Trump will respond to the request or whether he would consider testifying. Senior aides talked Trump out of going to the House floor to defend himself ahead of his second impeachment in January, a similar tactic he also considered the first time he was impeached.
The House's letter did not threaten to subpoena Trump if he does not appear voluntarily, though Raskin suggested the managers would use his refusal against him, writing, "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."
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