House impeachment managers sent a letter to Donald Trump strongly suggesting the former president testify at the Senate impeachment trial.
The trial, slated to begin on Tuesday of next week, involves a charge from the House that Trump incited a mob of supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6th.
A formal response from Trump’s lawyers “denied” that he “ever engaged in a violation of his oath of office,” and instead he, “at all times acted to the best of his ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin (D-MD) essentially defied Trump to prove his innocence in his own words.
“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,” Raskin wrote.
The Democrat then argued that not testifying would be used against him.
“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,” added Raskin.
5) Impeachment mgrs: “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.”
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 4, 2021
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Lindsey Graham – Not Likely Trump Will Testify at Impeachment Trial
Forbes reporter Andrew Solender tweeted a response from Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in which he dismissed Raskin’s demand as little more than a “political ploy.”
“I don’t think that would be in anybody’s interest,” Graham said according to Solender, adding that it would be a “nightmare for the country.”
“This is just a political showboat move. They didn’t call him in the House,” Graham pointed out.
Raskin’s letter attempts to argue that there is precedent for Presidents testifying at their impeachment trial.
“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,” he said.
Raskin is seemingly unaware that Trump is no longer the President.
Solender reports that Graham spoke to the former President a couple of days ago and he’s in “pretty good spirits, trying to get adjusted to his new life.”
Lindsey Graham says Dems asking Trump to testify is a “political ploy,” per Hill pool. “I don’t think that would be in anybody’s interest,” he says, calling it a “nightmare for the country” and predicting Trump won’t do it.
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) February 4, 2021
A Political Ploy
Raskin’s letter is rich, not only with political ploys but with irony. Tremendously thick irony, at that.
The Maryland Democrat is “guilty” of the very same thing he is tasked with proving is a high crime and misdemeanor in Trump’s impeachment trial.
Raskin objected to the certification of Florida’s electoral votes in 2017. In fact, House Democrats tried objecting to the certification of electoral votes for Donald Trump that year on 11 separate occasions.
Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin objected to Florida’s electoral votes in 2017. pic.twitter.com/FsLvJLvA8v
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 13, 2021
One could argue, using the Democrat party’s own standard today, that the constant insistence that Trump didn’t really win the election in 2016 led to an incitement of violence on inauguration day.
House managers do not have independent authority to subpoena Trump so they must invite him to make his case.
The Senate, according to the New York Post, could subpoena him with a simple majority.
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