One of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers, David Schoen, said House managers are trying to “rush” the trial “before the evidence really comes out.”
“We are now six days away from this trial,” Schoen told Fox News on Wednesday. “We have absolutely no guidance as to the rules that will apply. We know it’s a free-for-all in there with no rules of evidence, but we don’t know yet whether they intend to call witnesses, how much time is going to be given to the sides—nothing about this thing. And it’s really incredible.”
Schoen further argued that the Senate doesn’t have the jurisdiction to carry out the trial, noting that Democrats held the article of impeachment “until he was no longer president.”
“There’s absolutely no jurisdiction in the Senate to try former President Trump than there is any other citizen in the country,” he added. “And I would suggest to you that, if you think any citizen in the country ought to be hauled off the street and brought before the Senate for a trial—a trial, by the way, lacking in all due process, then we’ve got a very sad situation” in the United States.
On Thursday, House Democratic impeachment managers are asking for Trump to testify under oath in the Senate impeachment trial that is scheduled to start next week.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the Democrats’ top impeachment manager, sent a letter to Trump and his lawyers. The House impeached Trump last month for allegedly inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, asserting that his speech to a crowd incited violence.
“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,” Raskin wrote.
Raskin added: “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 Epoch Times has reached out to Trump’s team for comment.
“Indeed, whereas a sitting President might raise concerns about distraction from their official duties, that concern is obviously inapplicable here,” according to Raskin’s letter. “We therefore anticipate your availability to testify. 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 stated that if Trump refuses to testify, the managers will use his refusal against him during the impeachment trial. House Democrats during last year’s trial made similar arguments after the White House rejected their subpoenas.
The Senate impeachment trial is scheduled to start the week of Feb. 8. Raskin said the former president should respond to the letter by Friday, Feb. 5.
Last week, 45 Republican senators voted against holding the trial, suggesting that Democrats’ efforts are doomed to fail.