Legal analyst explains how Trump stepped into a trap with refusal to testify at his impeachment trial

Legal analyst explains how Trump stepped into a trap with refusal to testify at his impeachment trial
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. - President Donald Trump stands with Airman as he prepares to address armed forces members at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Sept. 15, 2017. During his speech, Trump reflected on the air and space power he witnessed and the Airmen who are essential to our nation's success. The day also marked the president's first official visit to JBA, which consisted of highlights of the Air Force's advanced capabilities to gain and maintain air superiority. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Delano Scott)

Early Saturday morning, MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos suggested Donald Trump walked into a trap with his refusal to appear and testify at his second impeachment trial which starts next Tuesday.

Speaking with hosts Kendis Gibson and Lindsey Reiser, the defense attorney stated that House impeachment manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin (R-MD) executed "constitutional jiu-jitsu" by asking the former president to appear as opposed to subpoenaing him.

"How much could Trump's absence, actually, hurt him, in this case next week?" the attorney was asked.

"Jamie Raskin is using a great bit of constitutional jujitsu here," Cevallos replied. "They did not issue a subpoena, they just requested or invited him to come testify and President Trump declined. This is not a subpoena situation, but, you know, in our parallel-judicial courts, we have a principle: in criminal cases only that the prosecution and the judge cannot comment on an accused's silence at a criminal trial. But in civil cases, that comment or that inference, that negative inference from a defendant's silence, is allowed."

"Beyond that, the president or former president isn't even being compelled to come speak or testify at this impeachment," he continued. "And the reality is, whereas in judicial court, we have centuries of case law and bound volumes of books like the ones behind me telling today's courts what to do, the Senate is bound by none of that. They are bound by whatever the head count is of their votes in today's Senate."

Watch below:

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