President Donald Trump’s lawyers have begun their opening arguments in the impeachment trial, claiming the proceedings are a politically-motivated attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election.
Here is what happened on day five of the impeachment trial.
In a sentence:
White House lawyers began their defence of the president in a short, fast-moving session aimed at unpicking the Democrats’ three days of evidence.
In a paragraph:
The president has been waiting for this moment, despite bemoaning that it began on a Saturday, “Death Valley in T.V.”, as Trump tweeted.
The cable news networks still took it live, and the American public had a chance to watch an aggressive response to the central charges against President Trump.
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In 100 words:
The White House lawyers knew it had been a long week for senators, and decided to simply preview their case on the first Saturday session of Congress during Donald Trump’s administration.
They kept their arguments to just over two hours, moving between speakers to keep senators engaged.
It seemed to work. There were fewer politicians fiddling with fidget spinners, or stepping out for bathroom breaks.
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Trump’s team dug at the Democrats for using 21 of their 24 available hours of evidence, teasing that they would take much less time.
They sought to undermine the facts that impeachment managers had presented, saying many of the arguments they had made were based on presumption and guesswork.
The stakes were high, they said, with the White House’s lead lawyer presenting the impeachment case as an effort “to stop an election, to interfere in an election and to remove the president of the United States from the ballot”.
Ultimately, the goal of the defence team is to offer enough doubt to Republican senators that they are able to acquit the president in good conscience, and sell that decision to their voters.
Those in Trump’s orbit will end the week pleased.
In a quote:
They’re asking you not only to overturn the results of the last election, but as I’ve said before, they’re asking you to remove President Trump from the ballot in an election that’s occurring in approximately nine months. They’re asking you to tear up all of the ballots across this country on your own initiative. Take that decision away from the American people.
Tweet of the day:
Any fair minded person watching the Senate trial today would be able to see how unfairly I have been treated and that this is indeed the totally partisan Impeachment Hoax that EVERYBODY, including the Democrats, truly knows it is. This should never be allowed to happen again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2020