Posted by on February 4, 2021 10:07 pm
Tags: ,

Senate Republicans don’t want Trump to testify in impeachment trial

Senate Republicans on Thursday said they don’t want former President Trump to testify as part of a second impeachment trial after House impeachment managers formally requested the former president testify under oath next week.

Ted Cruz, Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham are posing for a picture: Senate Republicans don't want Trump to testify in impeachment trial

© Getty Images
Senate Republicans don’t want Trump to testify in impeachment trial

The public pushback comes as his legal team appears to be shooting down the ask from the House impeachment managers, dismissing it as a “publicity stunt.”

GOP senators say there’s no reason for Trump to testify after the House impeached him for a historic second time without calling any witnesses, a move that was different than the 2019 impeachment effort.

House Democrats argued they could move more quickly this time because lawmakers experienced the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol firsthand and had witnessed Trump’s speech just prior to the riot, where he urged supporters to march to the Capitol building.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close Trump ally who said he spoke to the former president “a couple of days ago,” dismissed the House impeachment managers’ request as a “political ploy.”

I don’t think that would be in anybody’s interest,” he said about Trump testifying. “Just cause it’s just a nightmare for the country to do this, it’s just a political showboat move to do this and they didn’t call him in the House.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) echoed that telling reporters that it would amount to “partisan theater.”

“I think that just shows that what they’re looking for is a show trial. This is all about partisanship,” Cruz said. “To coin a phrase, it’s time to move on.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) questioned why the Senate would call witnesses when the House didn’t.

Video: Clinton Adviser John Podesta Accuses the Trump Campaign of Connection to WikiLeaks (Time)

Skip Ad 5

Video Player is loading.


Current Time 0:00

Duration 0:47

Clinton Adviser John Podesta Accuses the Trump Campaign of Connection to WikiLeaks


Clinton Adviser John Podesta Accuses the Trump Campaign of Connection to WikiLeaks

“They expect the Senate to do their work. And we, and I don’t know why we have to pick up the pieces for the inadequacy of the House of Representatives,” Grassley said.

The GOP pushback comes after Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead House impeachment manager, sent Trump a letter arguing that the former president’s defense, outlined in legal briefs, denies irrefutable facts about Trump’s role in the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

“You have thus attempted to put critical facts at issue notwithstanding the clear and overwhelming evidence of your constitutional offense,” Raskin wrote Trump. “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.”

But Trump did not testify during the House’s first impeachment or the subsequent Senate trial when no additional witnesses were called.

Though Republicans fumed at the president in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack, Democrats aren’t expected to be able to get the 67 votes needed to formally convict Trump at the end of a trial.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), asked about Trump testifying, called the trial “illegitimate” and “unconstitutional.”

“They don’t have the votes to convict so this is just, I think continuing to embitter the public. It’s divisive, and it does nothing to promote unity. I think it’s a big mistake on the Democrats part,” Paul said.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) added that the House is “doing stuff that they should have done when they had it in the House before they drew up the article.”

Republicans weren’t the only ones wary of Trump testifying.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he would leave the decision up to House managers but “boy, that’d be a dog and pony show.”

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) added that it would be a “terrible idea.”

“Have you met President Trump?” he asked.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


A Zeno Media Station