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Trump to be No-Show at Impeachment Trial, Attorneys Say

February 5, 2021 by Dan McCue
President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON – President Trump will not voluntarily testify at his impeachment trial next week, rejecting a request for his presence from House impeachment managers.

In a letter e-mailed to the former president Thursday morning, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said Trump’s legal brief answering that the House “incitement of insurrection” charge “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,” Raskin continued, “I write to invite you to provide testimony under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial, concerning your conduct on Jan. 6, 2021.”

Raskin and the other House managers then proposed Trump provide his testimony and submit to cross-examination between Monday, Feb. 8 and Thursday, Feb. 11.

Raskin went on to remind the former president that both Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton provided testimony while in office and that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled just last year that Trump himself was not immune from legal process while he was president.

“Whereas a sitting president might raise concerns about distractions from their official duties, that concern is obviously inapplicable here,” Raskin wrote.

Trump’s lawyers, Bruce Castor, Jr., and David Schoen, responded swiftly, telling Raskin “your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations agasint the 45th president of the United States, who is now a private citizen.”

They go on to dismiss the request for Trump’s testimony as a “public relations stunt.”

Later, Schoen told reporters that Trump would not testify voluntarily.

“I don’t think anyone being impeached would show up at the proceedings we firmly believe are unconstitutional,” Schoen said.

The House managers could still attempt to subpoena testimony from Trump during the trial, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. Doing so would require support from a majority of the Senate.

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