Donald Trump refused to appear before Congress and testify about his impeachment trial.
It comes after Democratic officials acting as impeachment officials asked him to testify and explain why he is disputing key allegations.
In an interview with NBC News attorney Trump, Bruce Castor said ‘no’ when asked if the former president would appear, adding: “It’s a publicity stunt to make up for the weakness of the directors’ case from the room.”
Earlier this week, the 45th US President dismissed the charge of “inciting insurgency” against him, January 6th riots at Washington DC.
He was deposed following violence at the US Capitol which killed five people.
Last month, the House of Representatives impeached Trump before he left office, and the case is heading towards a Senate trial.
Trump was charged after telling a crowd to “fight” his electoral defeat, before the crowd made their way to Capitol Hill.
In one dismissal of dismissal filed by his lawyers, Trump’s defense claimed to have “fully and faithfully carried out his duties as president.”
He went on to say that Trump’s baseless claims that he won the election were protected by free speech and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In response to this, Jamie Raskin, a Democrat in the House of Representatives and senior House impeachment official, asked for Trump to testify.
He said: “In light of your challenge to these factual allegations, I am writing to invite you to testify under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial, regarding your conduct on January 6th, 2021.
He called for this to happen between February 8th and 11th.
Mr Raskin added: “If you decline this invitation, we reserve 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 the January 6th 2021. ”
In their written brief, Trump’s attorneys argued, “It is denied that the phrase ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore’ has nothing to do with it. the action on Capitol Hill as it was. clearly on the need to fight for electoral security in general, as evidenced by the recording of the speech. ”
Trump is the first president in history to be impeached twice.
With a two-thirds majority of the Senate needed to condemn him, 17 Republican members of the upper house are expected to vote with the Democrats against the former commander-in-chief.
A simple majority of 51 would then be required to prevent Mr. Trump from returning to office.