The Biden administration had previously sent Trump’s impeachment article to the Senate on January 25th with the testimony scheduled to be conducted on February 9.
But on Thursday, Trump declined the Democratic prosecutors’ request of questioning him.
Trump Refuses To Testify For His Impeachment Trial
U.S Representative Jamie Raskin who is also a former constitutional law professor leading the Democrat’s case wrote a letter to Trump stating that his response to the impeachment article published earlier had denied various factual allegations.
Raskin along with various other Democrats requested Trump to be present for the trial on Monday and not less than Thursday.
He mentioned in the letter that upon Trump’s refusal, the ruling government would have the right to establish his action as himself supporting his involvement in the Capitol Riot.
The former President’s lawyers Bruce Castor Jr. and David Schoen referred to Raskin’s letter as a PR (Public Relations) stunt. They wrote back a letter saying that requiring testimony from a former President clearly shows that Democrats aren’t able to prove their allegations.
They added that using the constitution to conduct an alleged impeachment trial is too serious to be played like games.
Trump’s Spokeswoman Ali Pardo stated to USA TODAY that the former President needn’t undertake an oath as part of the trial.
She also said that he will not testify in an unconstitutional deed.
The Democrats are looking to question Trump about the argument statements his lawyers had made via the letter.
His attorneys stated in a 14-page article the former President’s claims of election fraud and that Trump had no part in the Capitol riot.
If Trump appears for the trial, the Democrat attorneys would be questioning him on his stated arguments.
Trump had previously undergone an impeachment in January for the Capitol riot.
U.S Senator Lindsey Graham also remarked on the Democrat’s letter by calling it a political showboat move and that no witnesses were called for his impeachment vote on January 13th.
He also said that he hopes Trump does not have to testify as it wouldn’t be in anybody’s interest.
The former President’s appearance at the trial is said to be voluntary and if he doesn’t, the Senate has the power to make him forcibly testify.
So far, the Democratic Senate hasn’t decided on whether they would call any witnesses for the trial.
When the Senate was led by Republicans, they had voted not to call any witnesses for his first trial which took place last year.
If any witnesses are called, the House Democratic judiciary, senators, and Trump’s defense team will be allowed to ask questions.
If the witness refuses to attend the trial, the Senate has the right to conduct a testimony for them.
Congress grants the federal courts the right to compel the witness to testify but the decisions make take months or years to settle.
Some Senators state that calling for witnesses might delay the trial’s final decision. Republican Senator Roy Blunt said that such measures may extend the trial to March or April.