President Donald Trump’s defense team wrapped up their opening arguments in his impeachment trial in front of the Senate.

Day Eight

White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow will speak today. Each speech should only last 45 minutes.

This means the day will end pretty quickly.

ACKSHUALLY, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today could last for several hours. Chief Justice John Roberts told Trump’s defense team still had a little over 15 hours to present their opening arguments.

Chatter on the Hill this morning centered around Bolton’s revelations in a manuscript of his upcoming book. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) suggested senators read the manuscript in a classified setting.

Of course Minority Leader Chuck Schumer laughed off that idea. He just wants Bolton to testify.

Sen. Lindsey Graham snapped back, reminding the Democrats of the witnesses the Republicans will call if the Senate passes a motion.

Lawyer Jay Sekulow said that the allegations in Bolton’s book are inadmissible:

“I want to be clear on this, because there’s a lot of speculation out there with regard to what John Bolton has said,” Mr. Sekulow said. He repeated President Trump’s denial that he “NEVER” told Mr. Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

“In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination,” Mr. Sekulow said. “If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.

“Responding to an unpublished manuscript that maybe some reporters have an idea of maybe what it says … I don’t know what you’d call that, I’d call it inadmissible. That’s what it is,” Mr. Sekulow said. Impeachment, he added, “is not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts. That is politics, unfortunately.”

Mr. Sekulow argued that impeachment was only the latest effort to take down the president, citing the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into his campaign’s ties with Russia and former special counsel Robert Mueller’s ensuing two-year probe.

“Put yourselves in the shoes of not just this president, of any president that would have been under this type of attack,” Mr. Sekulow said. “You can’t view this case in a vacuum.”

The day did not last very long even though McConnell said it would. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone admitted he “had kind of a lengthy presentation prepared,” but decided to settle on a few points.

But he reminded the Senate that 2020 is an election year:

“Why not trust the American people with this decision. Why tear up their ballots, why tear up every ballot across this country. You can’t do that. You know you can’t do that. So I ask you to defend our constitution, to defend fundamental fairness, to defend basic due process rights, but most importantly — most importantly, to respect and defend the sacred right of every American to vote and to choose their president. The election is only months away.”

Recap

Alan Dershowitz ended Monday night’s session addressing revelations from a book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Sen. Angus King (I-ME) believes that Bolton’s revelations have propelled the vote for witnesses to over 51:

“I’m already hearing a number of Republicans who are moving toward voting to at least hear from John Bolton, if not other witnesses,” he said. “I think there’ll be more,” said King, referring to the four GOP votes Democrats need to call Bolton. “My bold prediction will be five or 10.”

47 senators caucus with the Democrats. They need four Republican senators to vote for a motion to call witnesses and present new evidence.

 
 
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