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Lawyers representing President Trump get their first shot Saturday to poke holes in the impeachment case made this week by Democrats.
But the topics they bring up may go far beyond the two impeachment charges related to foreign aid in Ukraine and obstruction of Congress, Jay Sekulow, an attorney for Trump, told reporters Friday.
Proceedings on the Senate floor are expected to begin again at 10 a.m. ET.
Sekulow said the defense team will speak for about three hours Saturday to lay out “coming attractions” for the trial when it resumes again on Monday.
That includes discussing the Steele Dossier and efforts made by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to dig up dirt on Trump leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
Sekulow also tried to argue, as many Republicans have over the course of the impeachment proceedings, that Clinton solicited foreign interference by Ukraine in the 2016 election.
“You should be able to be able to get a sense from what I’m saying right now that we’re going to rebut and refute and we’re going to put on an affirmative case tomorrow,” Sekulow said.
American intelligence agencies have been unanimous in their assessment that it was Russia that interfered in the last presidential race.
Another of Trump’s defense attorneys, Alan Dershowitz, told NPR’s David Folkenflik that he would focus his arguments on what he sees as “non-impeachable offenses” brought forward by the House.
“They charged him with non-impeachable offenses: namely obstruction of Congress and abuse of power,” Dershowitz said. “Those would have clearly been rejected by the framers as too broad, too open-ended and not sufficiently specific. So I’m going to focus my argument on the criteria used by the House.”
On Friday, House Democrats closed their opening arguments after 24 hours. Trump’s defense team will get the same amount of time for its response.
Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said the case against Trump had nothing to do with feelings of hatred or anger against the president, as many Republicans have claimed.
“I only hate what he has done to the country,” Schiff said in his final remarks before leaving the Senate floor. “I grieve for what he has done to this country.”
Republicans have largely stood by the president throughout the week, and because they hold a majority in the Senate, it remains unlikely that Trump will be removed from office.