Should the president testify during the impeachment process

Trump does not want to testify under oath

Before the impeachment trial against Donald Trump, the prosecutors asked the former US president to testify under oath. The Democratic MP Jamie Raskin called on the former US President in a letter to testify in the coming week and also to face a "cross-examination". The trial of the 74-year-old for storming the Capitol begins on Tuesday in the Senate.

"Since you deny the allegations, I am writing to invite you to testify under oath about your conduct on January 6, 2021, either before or during the impeachment process," wrote Raskin, who leads the House of Representatives' team of nine prosecutors. The Democrat named Monday through Thursday of next week as a possible period.

He is not going to testify

Trump immediately rejected the move. His lawyers Bruce Castor and David Schoen described Raskin's letter as a PR ploy. The request to testify only shows that the Democrats could not prove their allegations. The procedure is unconstitutional. Jason Miller, a Trump confidante, added that the ex-president was not going to testify.

Prosecutor Jamie Raskin would like to see Donald Trump cross-examine

Should Trump not cooperate, this could be used against him, warned Raskin. In the past, even incumbent presidents like Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton have testified in such trials.

Statement would be risky

For the ex-president, a testimony under oath could be risky, especially since the Democrats would probably ask him about many topics. Should he be proven to be untruthful, he could be prosecuted.

Trump did not appear in the first impeachment proceedings against Trump over the Ukraine affair. The process ended in an acquittal by the then Republican-dominated Senate.

Millions of Americans still stand by Donald Trump

In the current case, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives decided to open the "incitement to riot" proceedings a week after Trump supporters had attacked the US Congress. The then president is accused of inciting his supporters to riot at a rally. Among other things, he had said: "If you don't fight like the devil, you will have no more land." Five people were killed in the attack on the Capitol.

As an ex-president, Trump can no longer be removed from office. The Senate could block him for future offices at the federal level, so that a candidacy in the presidential election in 2024 would not be possible. The two-thirds majority in the chamber necessary for a conviction, however, seems unlikely. Because with the 50 Democrats, 17 Republicans would also have to vote.

se / wa (afp, ap, dpa, rtr)