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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump's lawyers on Thursday declined lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)'s request that he testify under oath before or during his Senate trial next week, calling the invitation a "public relations stunt."

Why it matters: Trump has been charged by the House with inciting the insurrection at the Capitol, but has disputed "many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment," Raskin notes. Testimony under oath would allow the former president to clarify "critical facts" about his role in the events of Jan. 6.

Details: "We would propose that you provide your testimony (of course including cross-examination) as early as Monday, February 8, 2021, and not later than Thursday, February 11, 2021. We would be pleased to arrange such testimony at a mutually convenient time and place," Raskin wrote in the letter.

  • Raskin noted that Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton provided testimony while in office, and the Supreme Court further held last year that Trump was not immune from the legal process — meaning there is "no doubt" that he could 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 Jan. 6, Raskin concluded.

The other side: "The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games," Trump lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr. wrote in a response letter.

Go deeper

Impeachment manager fleshes out case against Trump

Rep. Jamie Raskin as House managers delivered their impeachment article. Photo: Melina Mara/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Democrats' lead impeachment manager said Wednesday former President Trump's role in inciting the Capitol siege was the "worst presidential offense in the history of the republic," and the evidence against him is "airtight."

Why it matters: While Democrats say there is a direct cause and effect between Trump addressing a crowd of supporters that later broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6, some Republicans have fallen back on procedural defenses. The impeachment managers hope specific, graphic and voluminous evidence will create public pressure to convict the former president.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.