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Trump Rejects House Democrats’ Request to Testify at Impeachment Trial


FILE - Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 26, 2019.

U.S. House Democrats requested that former President Donald Trump testify under oath in his upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate. A Trump adviser said the former president declined.

lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin asked in a letter sent by email Thursday that the former president testify “either before or during” the trial that begins in earnest on February 9.

“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 said.

Jason Miller, the Trump adviser, said the former president “will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding.” Hours later, Trump attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen said Raskin’s letter proved Democrats “cannot prove your allegations” and that an impeachment trial was too serious “to try to play these games."

Trump is charged with inciting a mob of supporters that broke into the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Minutes before the attack on the building that resulted in the deaths of five people, Trump told thousands of his supporters at rally near the White House to “fight like hell” as Congress was in the process of formally certifying Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.

Thousands of supporters marched to the Capitol, many of whom broke into the building, interrupting the certification of the results. A Capitol Police officer was among those who died in the rioting, and the House impeached Trump one week later, with the help of 10 Republicans who joined Democrats in support.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.