Days before the opening to his second impeachment trial, Donald Trump's defense attorney is not ruling out live testimony by the former president.
On Thursday, Lead Impeachment Manager Jamie Raskin (D-MD) wrote a letter requesting Trump's testimony.
"Two days ago, you filed an Answer in which you 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. 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. We would propose that you provide your testimony (of course including cross-examination) as early as Monday, February 8, 2021, and not later than Thursday, February 11, 2021. We would be pleased to arrange such testimony at a mutually convenient time and place," Raskin wrote.
"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 continued. "I would request that you respond to this letter by no later than Friday, February 5, 2021 at 5pm."
Trump defense lawyer David Schoen replied a day earlier than requested.
"We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt," Schoen wrote, in a letter obtained by The New York Times.
"As you certainly know, there is no such thing as a negative inference in this unconstitutional proceeding," Schoen argued, without providing evidence for either claim.
Even though Trump was impeached for inciting an insurrection by lying about election fraud, Trump's lawyer pushed a new conspiracy theory by claiming impeachment is not actually happening, referring to the "purported impeachment proceedings."
As Nicholas Fandos of The Times noted, Schoen did not rule out Trump testifying.
@maggieNYT got a copy of the prompt reply from Trump lawyers, who calls the invitation to testify a “public relatio… https://t.co/VkcwoSaZEj— Nicholas Fandos (@Nicholas Fandos)1612470695.0