Former President Donald Trump will not testify in the U.S. Senate’s upcoming impeachment trial, defense attorney Bruce Castor told NBC News.
When asked if Trump would appear in the upper chamber for the trial, Castor simply told the news outlet, “No.”
NEWS: Trump defense attorney Bruce Castor tells @kwelkernbc "No." when asked if former-President Trump will testify during the Senate impeachment trial.
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) February 4, 2021
Earlier Thursday, lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) wrote a letter asking Trump to testify under oath.
“Two days ago, you filed an Answer in which you denied many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment,” Raskin said. “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,” Raskin wrote, telling the former president that Democrats would like to have his “testimony (of course including cross-examination) as early as Monday, February 8, 2021, and not later than Thursday, February 11, 2021.”
Hours later, Castor and David Schoen, Trump’s other impeachment lawyer, slammed Raskin’s request as a “public relations stunt.”
“We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt. As you certainly know, there is no such thing as a negative inference in this unconstitutional proceeding,” the pair wrote.
“Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th President of the United States, who is now a private citizen,” the letter added. “The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to play these games.”
The Senate trial is slated to begin the week of February 8. Democrats charged that Trump is personally responsible for the U.S. Capitol riot that left five people dead, including one U.S. Capitol police officer.