Far from the White House, Donald Trump plays the policy of the empty chair. The former US president will not testify in the context of his trial in the Senate, one of his advisers announced Thursday, declining an invitation made by the elected Democrat who leads the prosecution in this case. The former “president will not testify in unconstitutional proceedings,” his adviser Jason Miller said.
The Republican billionaire will be tried from Tuesday for “incitement to insurrection” as part of the impeachment procedure which, according to his defense, can only apply to a sitting president.
Democrat Jamie Raskin, who will play the role of prosecutor at the hearings, had invited him to “testify under oath before or during the trial about his conduct on January 6”, the day his supporters attacked the Capitol.
“You cannot prove your accusations”
“We propose that your testimony, which will of course include cross-examination, take place between Monday 8 and Thursday 11 February”, the elected representative of the House of Representatives wrote to him. “If you decline this invitation, we reserve all rights, including the right to argue at trial that your refusal to testify weighs heavily against you,” added Jamie Raskin.
The former president’s lawyers immediately denounced a “communication blow” in a procedure they said “unconstitutional”. “This confirms what everyone knows: you cannot prove your accusations against the 45th President of the United States, who has become a simple citizen again,” they replied to Jamie Raskin in a letter posted by several media .
Two impeachment procedures, a first
The former Republican president is accused of having encouraged his supporters to launch an assault on the Capitol, at the same time when elected officials were certifying the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential election. Just before the attack, he spoke to a crowd of protesters gathered in Washington to protest his defeat. “You will never take back our country by being weak. You have to show strength, ”he told them.
A week later, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives indicted him and Donald Trump became the first president in US history to twice endure the infamy of “impeachment.” “.
He had already been sent to trial at the end of 2019 for asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s son. He had not testified at this first trial and was quickly acquitted by a Senate with a Republican majority.
Even though Democrats have since regained control of the upper house, it will be difficult for them to rally enough Republicans to meet the threshold of 67 out of 100 senators needed for a guilty verdict.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr