As former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial prepares to enter the Senate, House impeachment managers have requested for Trump himself to testify at his own impeachment trial. Despite having left office weeks ago, Democrats insist on Trump’s responsibility for the Capital riots on January 6th and have now invited him to defend himself in an arguably unconstitutional impeachment trial.
In a letter from lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin to Trump’s attorney, House Democrats believe Trump to have shut down “factual allegations” that he incited an insurrection on January 6th and have responded by challenging him to defend himself under oath during Tuesday’s impeachment trial.
“Two days ago, you filed an Answer in which you denied many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment,” Maryland Democrat Raskin wrote.
“You have thus attempted to put critical facts at issue notwithstanding the clear and overwhelming evidence of your constitutional offense. 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.”
Trump has offered no indication whether he will take the offer or not.
Though no threat of subpoena was issued, Raskin did assure, if Trump refuses, that “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.”
House managers still remain mum on the possibility of inviting witnesses for trial, which would stretch the already meaningless trial out for weeks and potentially months. With 45 of the 50 Republican senators voting support to dismiss the trial, lawmakers from both sides hope for a speedy trial to begin addressing real problems facing America.
“If you voted that it was unconstitutional then how in the world would you ever hope to convict somebody for this?” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) asked the Senate, adding,”45 of us, almost the entire caucus, 95% of the caucus, voted that the whole proceeding was unconstitutional. This is a big victory for us. Democrats can beat this partisan horse as long as they want — this vote indicates it’s over, the trial is all over.”
Frankly, inviting Trump’s testimony looks to be nothing more than a political trap, allowing Democrats an opportunity to rake in juicy sound bites and drag his image through the mud. As egotistical as Trump may be, accepting their offer would be a terrible mistake, validating the impeachment trial as legitimate.
One of the great tragedies of the Trump administration was the Democrat’s politicization of the legal process of impeachment. To trigger impeachment, the constitution makes the conditions extremely clear-high crimes and misdemeanors. There must be a legal crime committed, not merely a distasteful act or because Congress dislikes the duly elected President.
With no substantial legal evidence of incitement, the impeachment trial in the Senate will end up nothing more than a wasteful political stunt, accomplishing nothing.