February 7, 2023

President Donald Trump answers questions from the news media in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on September 11, 2019.

Leah Millis | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump will not testify in his upcoming Senate impeachment, his lawyers said Thursday.

Bruce Castor, one of the lawyers defending the ex-president, told NBC News that a request from Democrats earlier that day was a “publicity stunt” and that Trump’s case was a “winner”.

Castor’s comments came hours after the House Democrat who spearheaded the impeachment officially asked Trump to testify on his own behalf under oath at his upcoming Senate trial, warning that a refusal to do so could be used against him.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Sent a letter to Trump asking the former president to testify “about your conduct on January 6, 2021”. Raskin, a former professor of constitutional law at American University, added that Trump’s testimony would be cross-examined.

Castor and David Schoen, another attorney for the President, responded to Raskin in a three-part letter calling the trial an “alleged impeachment” and saying that this “only confirms what is known to everyone: you can bring your allegations against the 45th does not prove President of the United States who is now a private citizen. “

The impeachment proceedings are due to begin on Tuesday. Raskin wrote that Trump, who moved to Florida after leaving the White House, could testify between Monday and Thursday.

Raskin’s letter, citing arguments put forward by Castor and Schoen on Tuesday, denied the House’s allegations that Trump incited and threatened lawmakers the crowd of his supporters who stormed the Capitol last month.

“Two days ago you tabled a response denying many of the factual allegations set out in the impeachment article,” Raskin wrote. “You have therefore tried to question critical facts despite the clear and overwhelming evidence of your constitutional offense.”

Castor and Schoen wrote in their letter: “It is denied that President Trump incited destructive behavior in the crowd” and “It is denied that President Trump intended to disrupt the vote count.”

The House of Representatives indicted Trump last month in a 232-197 vote, with every Democrat and 10 Republicans supporting the charge that he “threatened the integrity of the democratic system, disrupted peaceful transfers of power, and endangered an equal branch of.” Government.”

Trump, the only U.S. president to face two impeachment trials, is expected to be acquitted by the Senate, which is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

Two thirds of the votes are required for acquittal. In a token of Trump’s likelihood of getting his way, 45 Republicans voted late last month that the impeachment process itself was unconstitutional.

Trump did not testify during his first impeachment trial, which ended a year ago.

Raskin urged Trump to respond to his letter by 5 p.m. ET Friday, saying a rejection could be presented as a sign of guilt.

“If you decline this invitation, we reserve all rights, including the right to determine in court that your refusal to testify had a major negative impact on your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021,” Raskin wrote.

Raskin added that he expected Trump to be available to testify since he is no longer the sitting president.

“Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton both gave testimony in office – and the Supreme Court ruled just last year that you were not safe from trial during your tenure as president, so there is no doubt that you are testifying in this trial can, “Raskin wrote.

He added: “While a seated president may raise concerns about being distracted from his official duties, that concern is obviously not applicable here. So we assume you will be able to testify.”

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