House impeachment managers asked former President Donald Trump to testify under oath in his impeachment trial next week.
Lead Impeachment Manager Jamie Raskin sent a letter to Trump, asking he provide testimony under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial, about his conduct on January 6, the day his MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol.
The move by House Democrats is a sign they intend to aggressively prosecute the former president. The House managers do not have independent authority to subpoena Trump so they must invite him to make his case.
‘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. We would propose that you provide your testimony (of course including cross-examination) as early as Monday, February 8, 2021, and not later than Thursday, February 11, 2021. We would be pleased to arrange such testimony at a mutually convenient time and place,’ he wrote.
‘If you decline this invitation, 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,’ Raskin noted.
President Trump’s office did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
House impeachment managers asked former President Donald Trump to testify under oath in his impeachment trial next week
Lead Impeachment Manager Jamie Raskin asked President Trump to respond to the request to testify by Friday, Feburary 5
Raskin requested a response by no later than Friday, February 5, 2021 at 5 pm.
The impeachment trial begins Tuesday in the Senate.
Some Democratic senators questioned the decision to have Trump testify. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said it would be a ‘dog and pony show.’
And Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a close alley of President Joe Biden, called Trump testifying a ‘terrible idea.’ When asked why, he responded: ‘Have you met President Trump?’
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Trump, threatened to bring in the FBI to testify in trial if Democrats bring in witnesses.
‘If you open that can of worms, we’ll want the FBI to come in and tell us about how people pre-planned this attack and what happened with the security footprint at the Capitol,’ Graham said on Fox News.
‘You open up Pandora’s Box if you call one witness,’ he added.
Graham speaks to Trump regularly and is the liaison between the former president and Senate Republicans.
He told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon he last spoke to the former president a few days ago.
‘He’s in pretty good spirits. Trying to get adjusted to his new life and uh, I think very focused on 2022, trying to help us come back,’ Graham said.
He said the House managers calling on Trump to testify was ‘obviously a political ploy on their part’ and pointed out they could have asked Trump to testify in the House before they held the impeachment vote.
He said he didn’t think Trump would testify.
‘No, I don’t think that would be in anybody’s interest,’ he said. ‘Just cause it’s just a nightmare for the country to do this, it’s just a political showboat move to do this.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about Graham’s threat at her press conference on Thursday morning and dismissed the question.
‘Your question is a waste of time,’ she said.
President Trump spoke to a rally the morning of the January 6th insurrection, where he encouraged his supporters to march on Capitol Hill where lawmakers were going to certify Joe Biden’s election victory.
The pro-Trump crowd stormed the Capitol, interrupted the certification process and caused a riot that left five people dead and a wake of destruction in their path.
Trump attorney Bruce Castor revealed the free speech defense Trump plans to use in his trial. He and lawyer David Schoen submitted a legal brief used more formal language to deny the charge of ‘incitement of insurrection.’
‘It is denied that the 45th President engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States,’ Trump’s lawyers wrote.
In their legal brief, Trump’s lawyers defended some of the president’s most incendiary language, while trying to soften his claims that the election was ‘stolen’ and ‘rigged.’
They admit that ‘persons unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol,’ according to the brief. But it calls the phrase ‘Seditions acts’ brought by Democrats a ‘term of art that he denies.’
The brief denies that Trump ‘incited the crowd to engage in destructive behavior’ and denied the phrase ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore’ had ‘anything to do with the action at the Capitol as it was clearly about the need to fight for election security in general.’
House Impeachment Managers’ Letter to Donald J. Trump
February 4, 2021
President Donald J. Trump c/o Bruce L. Castor Jr. and David Schoen
Dear President Trump,
As you are aware, the United States House of Representatives has approved an article of impeachment against you for incitement of insurrection. See H. Res. 24. The Senate trial for this article of impeachment will begin on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. See S. Res. 16.
Two days ago, you filed an Answer in which you denied many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment. 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. We would propose that you provide your testimony (of course including cross-examination) as early as Monday, February 8, 2021, and not later than Thursday, February 11, 2021. We would be pleased to arrange such testimony at a mutually convenient time and place.
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. Indeed, whereas a sitting President might raise concerns about distraction from their official duties, that concern is obviously inapplicable here. We therefore anticipate your availability to testify.
If you decline this invitation, 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.
I would request that you respond to this letter by no later than Friday, February 5, 2021 at 5pm. I look forward to your response and to your testimony.
Very truly yours,
Jamie Raskin Lead Impeachment Manager
President Trump spoke to a rally of his supporters the morning of the MAGA riot, encouraging them to march on the Capitol
The January 6th insurrection left five people dead
Many of the rioters were armed with weapons including axes, baseball bats, and flag poles. Several have identified Trump himself as inspiring their actions. Federal authorities are also investigating militia groups who met before Trump spoke and organized travel in advance of the Jan. 6 rally, which took place the day Congress met to count the electoral votes.
The House moved quickly to impeach Trump on one article – violating his oath of office ‘by inciting violence against the Government of the United States.’ Ten House Republicans crossed over to join Democrats in voting for the impeachment, making Trump the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
At least 17 Republican would need to join all 50 Democrats in the evenly divided Senate for Trump to be convicted, a two-thirds threshold that appears unlikely to be reached.
There was a debate among scholars over whether the Senate can hold a trial for Trump since he left office on January 20.
Trump’s defense team is expected to argue the impeachment trial is unconstitutional.
A conviction could bare Trump from every holding federal office again – which would rule out a 2024 presidential bid – but there seems little appetite among Senate Republicans to convict the former president.
Senator Rand Paul last week proposed a resolution calling the trial unconstitutional. It didn’t pass the Senate but 45 GOP senators joined his effort, effectively signalling Trump will be acquitted.