Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., took former President Trump to task for refusing to testify at his second impeachment trial that many Republicans and Trump’s legal team have called a farce.
Jason Miller, a senior adviser for Trump, told Fox News that his boss will "not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding." Trump’s lawyers denounced the request as a "public relations stunt."
Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, issued a statement later Thursday and said any "official accused of inciting armed violence against the government of the United States should welcome the chance to testify openly and honestly—that is, if the official had a defense."
The impeachment trial starts Feb. 9. Trump, the first president to be impeached twice, is charged with inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6, when a mob of his supporters broke into the Capitol to interrupt the electoral vote count. Five people died.
Democrats have said a trial is necessary to provide a final measure of accountability for the attack. Many Republicans accuse Democrats of using the riot for their own political gains.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., told Fox News Thursday night that the impeachment is "plainly unconstitutional." He said the Democrat push for Trump to testify "contradicts" what they've been arguing for the past several weeks.
"They didn't need to have documents that the evidence was manifest. It was in front of everyone's eyes on TV that we all saw it," he said. "If that's the case, why are they asking Donald Trump himself to come testify in person?"
Cotton said that his opinion has been consistent from Day One. He said it’s "beyond the constitutional authority of the Senate to have impeachment proceedings to convict and removed from office a man who has already left office."
Fox News' Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report