LIVE: Trump attorney Jay Sekulow attacks James Comey and the Mueller investigation in an effort to defend the president

President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial continued Tuesday as his defense team capped off their opening arguments, beginning at 1 P.M. 
White House counsel Pat Cipollone is spearheading Trump's team, which also includes the president's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow.
After the defense rests their case, senators will have 16 hours to submit written questions to the defense team and the seven House impeachment managers who prosecuted the case against Trump.
Scroll down to watch the trial and follow Insider's live coverage.
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President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial continues Tuesday as his defense team caps off their opening arguments. White House counsel Pat Cipollone is spearheading Trump's team, which also includes the president's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow.
On Monday, other members of Trump's defense team including former Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, and Trump attorney Eric Herschmann also assisted in presenting arguments before the Senate.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump last month for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Both charges related to his efforts to coerce Ukraine into launching politically motivated investigations targeting former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic frontrunner, his son Hunter, and the Democratic Party as a whole.
While doing so, the president withheld $391 million in vital military aid to Ukraine, as well as a White House meeting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky desperately sought and still hasn't gotten.
On Monday, the defense's arguments mainly focused on attacking Hunter's credibility with false and misleading claims that he engaged in corrupt activity in Ukraine, which formed the basis of Trump's request.
They also disputed the need for the Senate to call former National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify in the trial after The New York Times reported on the unpublished manuscript of his memoir, in which Bolton wrote that Trump personally told him he would withhold Ukraine's military aid until Zelensky agreed to deliver politically motivated investigations targeting the Bidens.
Earlier on Tuesday, CNN reported that Cipollone and Sekulow are expected to make "brief closing arguments" starting at 1 P.M EST and lasting approximately two hours.
After the defense rests their case, senators will have 16 hours to submit written questions to the defense team and the seven House impeachment managers who prosecuted the case against Trump.
The Senate will then decide whether to subpoena additional documents or witness testimony, which requires a 51-vote majority.
C-SPAN and TV networks are relying on the Senate's live feed of the trial.
C-SPAN is airing the trial at cspan.org.
You can watch the trial here:



 
Scroll down for Insider's live coverage of the hearing:Jay Sekulow encouraged Senators to put themselves "in the shoes of the president" in weighing the impeachment articles

Sekulow attempted to draw sympathy for the president, going on a tangent away from the impeachment articles and arguing Trump was "under attack" by virtue of the FBI conducting an investigation of his 2016 campaign's contacts with Russia.  
For years, Trump and his defenders have wrongly claimed that Trump was "spied on" by the FBI and mistreated by the FISA warrant process. 
Sekulow name-dropped multiple FBI and DOJ officials who have been frequent boogeyman for Republicans, including former special counsel Mueller, James Comey, agents Peter Strozk and Lisa Page, and DOJ official Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie Ohr. 
Sekulow also argued that it was wrong for the Senate to remove a "duly elected president in an election year." 
Fact check:

As multiple outlets including The Washington Post and The New York Times reported in 2018, the FBI had not spied on the campaign as Trump described but sent an informant to speak to three Trump campaign officials — Carter Page, Sam Clovis, and George Papadopoulos — after opening an investigation into the campaign's potentially "suspicious" connections to Russia.
Many Republicans have tried to argue it's wrong to remove a president during an election year. But the central allegation behind the abuse of power charge is that Trump abused his office by asking a foreign government to investigate the Bidens in an effort to bolster his own re-election prospects in 2020. 

Patrick Philbin, deputy counsel to the president, opened up the day's arguments by refuting the Democrats' interpretation of "abuse of power"

Philbin argued that the "managers' definition of abuse of power is antithetical to the framer's intent," and argued that they did not specify a clear offense when charging Trump with abuse of power. 
In his presentation, Philbin accused managers of impeaching based on their subjective, "malleable" view of the president's conduct and not the objective facts, arguing that the House was committing an offense of "maladministration," which the framers of the constitution rejected. 
He argued that Democrats impeached Trump on "perfectly lawful action" within his prevue over US foreign policy, but "want to make it impeachable based on what's in the president's head," calling the articles "fundamentally undemocratic." 
Philbin charged that House Democrats erred in impeaching Trump based on what they thought his motives were instead of objective fact. 
Fact check: 

While the president does have the ability to set foreign policy objectives, the House's articles charge that it is an impeachable abuse of power for the president to leverage US foreign policy tools — like military aid — for his own personal political gain and not to advance national security interests. 
Democrats have argued that Trump's move to block the aid undermined rather than bolstered US national interests. Ukraine is highly dependent on American military aid to defend itself from incursions from Russia. Ukraine has been engaged in a hot war with Russia, a US adversary, since 2014, when Russia invaded and annexed the peninsula of Crimea, a contested territory.
Regardless of his motives, Democrats say that the action Asking a foreign government for material campaign aid is not only unprecedented from a US president, but it could even violate campaign finance laws against soliciting campaign contributions or help from foreign nationals.

CNN reported Tuesday morning that Cipollone and Sekulow are "expected to make brief closing arguments starting this afternoon at 1 p.m," noting that the schedule could "shift some."

Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-de...

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