Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) officially requested that former president Donald Trump testify under oath about his involvement in the events that led to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
The letter, which Raskin sent to Trump’s lawyers Thursday, February 4, 2021, comes two days after the president’s legal team filed papers with the Senate disputing many of the factual allegations in the House managers’ case. It invites Trump to testify either before or during his actual impeachment trial, which is set to begin in the Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 9 — with the recommendation he do so between Monday, Feb. 8 and Thursday Feb. 11.
“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 warned in his letter, asking for a response by Friday at 5 p.m.
In the letter, Raskin pointed out that former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton had both testified to Congress while in office, “so there is no doubt that you can testify in these proceedings.” Raskin also pointed out that since Trump is no longer in office, and since the Supreme Court has already ruled that the president is not immune to legal proceedings for decisions he made during his tenure in office, he has no excuse to decline.
“We therefore anticipate your availability to testify,” Raskin wrote.