Trump’s legal team wraps up opening arguments, rejects Bolton allegations
US President Donald Trump's legal team has wrapped up three days of arguments in his Senate impeachment trial, calling the charges against the Republican president unfounded and politically motivated.
According to Press TV, the third day of opening arguments by Trump’s lawyers ended on Tuesday amid uncertainty over the question of whether to call witnesses in his impeachment trial.
Trump’s lawyers sought to minimize the explosive allegations made recently by former National Security Adviser John Bolton that Trump told him he was withholding military aid to Ukraine until Kiev agreed to investigate former US Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
“You cannot impeach a president on an unsourced allegation,” Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow told the Senate.
Saying “it is time for this to end,” Trump’s defense team accused Democrats of trying to interfere with the president’s November re-election bid.
“Overturning past elections and massively interfering with the upcoming one would cause serious and lasting damage to the people of the United States and to our great country. The Senate cannot allow this to happen,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told the Senate.
Bolton’s unpublished book manuscript directly contradicts Trump’s account of events. Bolton wrote that the president told him he wanted to freeze $391 million in security aid to Ukraine until Kiev pursued investigations into Democrats, including Biden.
Meanwhile, Trump's attorney Alan Dershowitz said Monday night that even if the Bolton revelations were true, they still did not mean Trump abused his power as president.
"Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense.” Dershowitz said. “You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like quid pro quo and personal benefit."
The former Harvard Law School professor also argued that a president cannot be impeached for what he described as vague charges of "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress," asserting that the Constitution required a specific crime or crime-like behavior.