President Trump's Legal Team Makes Opening Arguments In Impeachment Trial
By Bill Galluccio
January 27, 2020
President Donald Trump's legal team will continue making their case as to why he should not be removed from office as the Senate impeachment trial enters its sixth day.
Trump's legal team kicked off their defense on Saturday (January 25) using just two of their allotted 24 hours to make their case. While the Democrat House managers used up almost all of their time to make a case for impeachment, Trump's lawyers do not plan to do the same.
"You've heard the House managers speak for nearly 24 hours over three days. We don't anticipate using that much time," White House counsel Pat Cipollone said on Saturday. "We don't believe that they have come anywhere close to meeting their burden for what they're asking you to do."
Trump's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said he plans to bring up alleged corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and will argue that Trump had a legitimate reason to ask Ukrainian officials to launch an investigation into the pair.
After Trump's legal team wraps up their opening arguments, Senators will have two days to ask questions and then must vote on whether new witnesses will be called. While it was expected the Republicans would vote down any requests to call new witnesses or subpoena new evidence, a bombshell report from the New York Times might change that.
According to the paper, John Bolton, one of Trump's former national security advisors, wrote in an unpublished manuscript that the president told him he wanted to freeze military to aid in Ukraine until the country launched an investigation into the Bidens. The new claim has emboldened Democrats, who are demanding Bolton be called to testify during the trial.
If Bolton or any other additional witnesses are called, it could prolong the trial, which was expected to wrap up by the end of the week.
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