Impeachment trial continues as Donald Trump's legal team delivers opening argument

Impeachment trial continues as Donald Trump's legal team delivers opening argument

President Donald Trump's lawyer, in concluding his opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial, said that if the bar for impeachment is set too low, future presidents won't be able to exercise executive power, while addressing allegations reportedly contained in former national security adviser John Bolton's book.

GOP leaders attempted to tamp down sentiment for subpoenaing Bolton by arguing it's not necessary. In a video posted to Facebook Monday, after Republicans spent the day largely dodging questions of whether to accept new witnesses, Lankford called Bolton's information "pertinent" to the trial.

Kelly said Bolton "always gave the president the unvarnished truth" and is a "man of integrity and great character".

Democrats are pushing to get Bolton called as a witness during the impeachment trial.

Senate Republicans, who have so far refused to allow any witnesses or new evidence in the trial, faced mounting pressure from Democrats and some moderates in their own party to summon Bolton.

"He knows other things, and I don't know if we left on the best of terms". The impeachment article says Trump withheld military aid and a meeting with Zelenskiy as leverage to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden. "And in both cases, the aid flowed and the investigations never occurred".

The book also reportedly contains new information about the actions of top administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, all of whom have been accused of involvement in Trump's Ukraine campaign.

Even on the pro-Trump Fox network the efforts of his defense attorneys took second place to questions about the revelations by Bolton-himself a right-wing pundit on Fox News before his appointment by Trump in 2018 to head the National Security Council (NSC). Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.

The call comes following reports that Mr Bolton made claims in an unpublished book that Mr Trump wanted to freeze aid to Ukraine unless it investigated his political rival, Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump's legal team was due to deliver its third and final day of arguments urging his acquittal starting at around 1 p.m. (1800 GMT), with plans to finish by dinner time. In his presentation, Starr said impeachment is "hell" and that it's time to bring an end to "the age of impeachment", saying that the proceeding has become politically weaponized.

We have dozens of Republican senators and governors who are 100 times more adept and less corrupt than Trump.

Some Republican senators have already said they want access to Bolton's manuscript.

That would certainly be the case for Bolton, whose 528-page insider tell-all, "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir", is scheduled to hit bookshelves on March 17. He warned, however, that Republicans would look "very, very bad" if their witnesses are simply trying to distract the public from the truth. USA senators will then have 16 hours over two days, starting on Wednesday, to ask questions of the defense and House managers, who are acting as prosecutors in the case.

The Senate may resolve the issue of whether to call witnesses in a vote on Friday or Saturday.

-With assistance from Billy House, Erik Wasson and Laura Davison.

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