The House today asked Donald Trump to testify under oath next week as part of the former president’s second impeachment trial in the Senate.
In a letter to Trump, the House’s lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said Trump’s testimony was necessary because his lawyers’ first official response to the impeachment charge “denied many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment.”
“You have thus attempted to put critical facts at issue notwithstanding the clear and overwhelming evidence of your constitutional offense,” Raskin wrote. “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.”
The request from the House’s impeachment managers comes just five days before Trump is set to be put on trial on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, which left five people dead.
Raskin specifically asked that Trump testify sometime next week, between Monday and Thursday.
The trial is slated to begin on Tuesday and is expected to last around one week.
Trump is not likely to accept the House managers’ invitation.
If he declines, Raskin wrote, “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.”
A senior aide on the House impeachment team said the request for Trump’s testimony came in response to claims by Castor and Schoen earlier this week that the former president never “intended to interfere with the counting of Electoral votes” on Jan. 6, and never “made any effort to subvert the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.”
Trump for weeks lodged unsubstantiated claims about widespread voter fraud in swing states where Biden won, culminating in his speech to supporters the morning of Jan. 6, when he urged them to “fight like hell.”
The House impeachment managers have remained tight-lipped about their plans for potential witness testimony as part of the trial, while many Senate Democrats have suggested in recent weeks that witnesses are not necessary in order to prove that Trump deserves to be convicted.
But conviction, which requires the support of two-thirds of the chamber, will be a tough sell for the impeachment managers, especially after 45 GOP senators voted last week to declare that putting a former president on trial is unconstitutional.
Half of Americans polled for a new survey said Trump should be convicted, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
The nationwide survey found that 50 percent of respondents believe Trump should be convicted and 45 percent believe he should not be convicted, with most participants answering along party lines.
Independents polled were split, with 49 percent saying Trump should be convicted and 45 percent saying he should not be convicted.
There is wide agreement on conviction within each party: 86 percent of Republicans say Trump should not be convicted, and 86 percent of Democrats say he should.
“The impeachment question is framed by two distinctly different versions of history and offers as vivid an example of the chasm between Republicans and Democrats as you can find,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said in a statement released with the results.
These findings are similar to a separate Monmouth University poll released a few weeks ago, which found that most Americans believe Trump should be impeached and convicted.
The new poll from Quinnipiac University also found that most of those polled (59 percent) do not believe there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, though nearly three-fourths of Republicans surveyed do believe there was widespread fraud.