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WASHINGTON: Former president Donald Trump refused Thursday to testify in his looming impeachment trial after being known as by Home prosecutors to present proof, branding the method “unconstitutional.”
Trump’s attorneys ridiculed the request in a letter by lead Home prosecutor Jamie Raskin to reply questions over the January 6 assault on the US Capitol as a “public relations stunt.”
“Your letter solely confirms what is understood to everybody: you can’t show your allegations” towards Trump, attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen stated of their reply.
Whereas the attorneys didn’t say whether or not he would testify, a senior advisor to Trump, Jason Miller, stated flatly that he wouldn’t.
“The president is not going to testify in an unconstitutional continuing,” Miller instructed AFP.
The refusal got here 5 days earlier than the trial of the previous US chief on one impeachment cost of “incitement to riot” opens within the US Senate.
In his unprecedented second impeachment trial, Trump is accused of fomenting the assault by his supporters on the US legislature one month in the past, forcing a halt to proceedings to certify opponent Joe Biden‘s victory within the November presidential election.
Raskin had requested Trump, who has maintained with out proof that Biden gained by huge fraud, to testify someday subsequent week, earlier than or in the course of the trial.
He stated Trump, who now lives in his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort, had little excuse to keep away from testifying, and will not declare he was too busy overseeing the nation, as was the White Home place when he was nonetheless president.
Raskin additionally warned that if Trump refused, it will be thought-about as supportive of the proof towards him.
“Should you decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights, together with the best to determine at trial that your refusal to testify helps a powerful antagonistic inference relating to your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021,” he added.
Raskin’s letter and the response set out the battle traces for the never-seen impeachment trial of a president after he has left workplace.
The Democratic Home prosecutors, or impeachment managers, say the Republican chief was “singularly accountable” for the Capitol assault, which left 5 useless.
“In a grievous betrayal of his oath of workplace, President Trump incited a violent mob to assault the US Capitol,” they stated.
However Trump’s workforce argued in a submitting Tuesday that no matter Trump stated within the days and hours earlier than the assault to encourage supporters to reject Biden’s election win amounted to constitutionally protected free speech.
And so they declared it unconstitutional to place a former president on trial within the Senate.
The January 6 assault continues to reverberate in Washington. Prosecutors have charged some 180 individuals within the assaults, in accordance with a tally by the George washington College Program on extremism, and a whole lot extra are beneath investigation.
The Justice Division has urged they might construct a case for seditious conspiracy by some Trump-supporting excessive proper teams within the assault.
In a White Home rally simply hours earlier than the assault, Trump inspired supporters to reject the election outcomes and to “struggle like hell.”
Whereas Democrats will make such statements the main target of their case, Trump’s attorneys will hone in on the query of constitutionality.
That would result in his acquittal. Conviction requires assist of two-thirds of the 100 senators, who function judges and jury within the trial.
However final week 45 of fifty Republican senators made clear in a vote they suppose attempting an ex-president is unconstitutional.

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