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Trump attorney: Democratic case against president 'defective' - live impeachment updates

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But the House managers said they could depose witnesses within a week.- Bart JansenThe Senate is voting on whether to subpoena witnesses or documents in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.The Democratic effort to hear from witnesses and retrieve documents is expected to be rejected, based on how senators have said they will vote.Democrats seek testimony from four officials, including former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – said they would vote against witnesses.- Bart JansenPresident Donald Trump’s defense team argued Friday during his impeachment trial that the Senate doesn’t need to call more witnesses because the case from House Democrats is defective, but that calling witnesses could permanently damage relations between Congress and the presidency.“These articles of impeachment on their face are defective,” said Patrick Philbin, deputy White House counsel.House Democrats have argued that witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton are crucial to the case because they could provide first-hand information about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.But Philbin noted that disputes about witnesses are typically settled before trials, not in the midst of them. Legal fights over witnesses, such as whether Trump could assert executive privilege to block testimony from Bolton, could extend the trial by months, the lawyers argued.The defense lawyers also argued that Trump’s defiance of subpoenas wasn’t an admission of guilt because he was simply exercising his rights and protecting confidential advice from top aides for future presidents.But Garcia said the defiance suggested he had something to hide.“If the president is telling the truth, and he did nothing wrong, and the evidence would prove that, then we all know that he would be an enthusiastic supporter of subpoenas,” Garcia said.- Bart JansenThe lead House prosecutor in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump accused the president’s lead defender, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, of concealing crucial information from senators after The New York Times reported Cipollone was in a key meeting involving Ukraine.House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., cited a Times report Friday about former national security adviser John Bolton. Philbin also said Bolton hadn't confirmed the newspaper report about what’s in his manuscript.Trump has denied telling Bolton that the Ukraine aid was tied to investigations but ordered him not to testify in the House’s investigation.- Marueen Groppe As senators prepare for a pivotal day in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported new alleged details about the president's involvement in Ukraine.In former national security adviser John Bolton’s upcoming book, he wrote that Trump asked him in May to make sure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would meet with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to talk about the investigations Trump wanted, the Times reported.That request was made during an Oval Office meeting that included Giuliani, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel leading Trump’s defense team in the Senate impeachment trial.The Times was first to report earlier that Bolton describes in the book how Trump said in August that he wanted to continue the suspension of $391 million in military assistance to Ukraine until the country helped investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.John Bolton:Bolton alerted top Democrat to 'improper' Yovanovitch's ouster after he left White HouseSenators will vote today on whether to hear from Bolton or other witnesses. It's not clear whether Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial, would break the tie.If Murkowski decides she’s heard enough, that likely sets up a 51-49 vote against witnesses.Murkowski offered a hint about her thinking when she asked Trump's defense team Thursday why the Senate shouldn't call Bolton."This dispute about material facts weighs in favor of calling additional witnesses with direct knowledge," Murkowski said in the written question, read by Roberts.In an upcoming book, Bolton reportedly contradicts a key aspect of Trump’s defense argued by his lawyers in the Senate trial: that there are no witnesses who have linked Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine to investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden or a debunked theory about Ukraine meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.Patrick Philbin, a deputy White House counsel, warned that agreeing to call additional witnesses would establish new standards for impeachment, if the House can send "half-baked" cases and leave the Senate to complete the investigation. “I have to say that it’s very boring.”Trump, a former reality television star, told Fox News’ Peter Doocy that he has watched “a little bit” of the trial.Asked if he has any concern about the trial, Trump responded that he has “great confidence in the Republicans and the Republican Senate."“And I know they’re going to be fair,” Trump said.The GOP controls the Senate, with a 53-47 advantage over Democrats in the chamber.– Maureen GroppeAs the Senate gets ready to decide whether to hear from former national security adviser John Bolton in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Bolton reportedly encouraged others who have served Trump not to be afraid to speak out.Television station KXAN in Austin, Texas., reported that Bolton spoke at a private event there where he defended former diplomatic and state department officials who testified during the House impeachment inquiry.Bolton also said that others should feel free to talk without retribution, the station reported. Testifying to what they think is true is the exact opposite of being destructive to the system of government, he reportedly said.Bolton's soon-to-be-published book reportedly alleges Trump demanded Ukraine investigate Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, in exchange for foreign aid.White House security officials this week threatened to block the book’s publication unless Bolton deletes information they deemed classified.Bolton’s attorney has disputed that anything in the book “could reasonably be considered classified.”– Maureen GroppeFriday is shaping up to be judgment day for President Donald Trump.The GOP-controlled Senate could wrap up the impeachment trial for Trump and acquit him, or decide to prolong the proceedings – possibly for weeks – by calling witnesses to testify. In his forthcoming book, Trump's former national security adviser writes that the president told him to withhold military aid to Ukraine until Ukraine announced political investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.Defense line:Trump lawyer Dershowitz argues president can't be impeached for an act he thinks will help his reelectionDemocrats, who control 47 of the chamber's 100 seats, have been trying to convince at least four Republican senators to join them in demanding Bolton and other administration witnesses appear to discuss the president's conduct regarding Ukraine.If Democrats fail, the third impeachment of a president in U.S. history will end like the previous two.The House on Dec. 18 impeached Trump on two articles – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – after hearings by the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees into whether he tried to leverage the aid to Ukraine in exchange for digging up dirt on the Bidens.The Senate trial began Jan. 21 with House Democratic lawmakers acting as prosecutors laying out the case against Trump over three days.

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