Hours after House impeachment managers asked that former President Trump testify in or before his Senate trial, the defense rejected the request. "The president will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding," Jason Miller, a spokesman, said Thursday. Trump's impeachment lawyers were less straightforward but equally dismissive in a letter to Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, who wanted sworn testimony from the former president about the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol, the Washington Post reports. "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," wrote Bruce Castor and David Schoen.
The impeachment managers lack subpoena power, and Trump's lawyers called their request a "public relations stunt," per NPR. Miller posted the lawyers' letter Raskin declining the invitation on Twitter. The article of impeachment accuses Trump of inciting the violence. "The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games," Trump's lawyers wrote. Aides talked Trump out of going to the Capitol to defend himself before he left office, per CNN, and he also considered testifying in his first impeachment trial. The House managers could attempt to subpoena Trump, per the New York Times, but it would take approval of a Senate majority. The trial is scheduled to begin next week. (A GOP lawmaker has avoided punishment for supporting impeachment.)