Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

Trump's impeachment lawyers dismiss request for testimony as a 'public relations stunt'

Former President Donald Trump's legal team is dismissing a request for him to testify under oath as part of his upcoming Senate trial.

House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on Thursday demanded Trump testify "either before or during the Senate impeachment trial" set to begin next week, in which he has been charged with inciting an insurrection at the Capitol building. But in a response on Thursday, Trump's lawyers Bruce Castor Jr. and David Schoen dismissed Raskin's letter as a "public relations stunt," contending it "confirms" that "you cannot prove your allegations" against the former president. Castor further confirmed to NBC News Trump doesn't plan to testify in the trial.

Trump is facing a charge of incitement of insurrection over his role in the deadly riot at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Raskin in his Thursday letter wrote that Trump must testify in light of his disputing of "factual allegations" against him, adding that "while a sitting president might raise concerns about distractions from their official duties, that concern is obviously inapplicable here."

Prior to this statement, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he hopes Trump doesn't testify in the trial, saying, "I don't think that would be of anybody's interest," per The Washington Post. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) also told NBC News it's a "terrible idea." When asked why, he responded, "Have you met President Trump?"