Democrats are throwing the Constitution out the window and have threatened to punish President Trump for exercising his rights.
Democrats have doubled down that they intend to punish Trump for not testifying at the impeachment trial in the Senate.
[T]he House has invited President Trump to voluntarily testify under oath, yet President Trump immediately rejected that opportunity to tell his story. The House will establish at trial that this decision to avoid testifying supports a strong adverse inference regarding President Trump’s actions (and inaction) on January 6.
Democrats were responding to Trump’s lawyers’ pointing out that Democrats ignored procedural conventions surrounding impeachment in the House, and denied Trump his due process.
The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution is very clear and states that “No person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
The impeachment trial is not a criminal case; however, most legal scholars agree that the same principles in a criminal trial should apply to any type of impeachment trial.
House Democrat have now threatened former President Trump – who is a private citizen – twice for exercising his rights. Rep. Jame Raskin (D-MD) in a letter to Trump’s lawyers earlier this month wrote: “If you decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights [sic], including the right [sic] to establish at trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference regarding your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021.”
Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley wrote that Raskin is threatening to overturn centuries of progress that have established a defendant has the right not to testify against himself or herself:
[T]he statement of House manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., this week was breathtaking. A former law professor, Raskin declared that the decision of Trump not to testify in the Senate could be cited or used by House managers as an inference of his guilt — a statement that contradicts not just our constitutional principles but centuries of legal writing.
The statement conflicts with one of the most precious and revered principles in American law that a refusal to testify should not be used against an accused party.
Central to this right is the added protection that the silence of an accused cannot be used against him in the way suggested by Raskin. There was a time when members of Congress not only respected this rule but fought to amplify it.
The Supreme Court has been adamant that the type of inference sought by Raskin is abhorrent and abusive in courts of law.
Let’s call this what it is, the Democrats are trying to pressure Trump to testify so they can claim he lied during testimony, then refer him to the DOJ to criminally charge him under oath.
President Trump isn’t going to fall for that.
Written by February 9, 2021–