***Live Updates*** Impeachment Trial: Trump’s Team Begin Opening Arguments

Pat Cipollone (Senate TV via Getty)
Senate TV via Getty

President Donald Trump’s legal team on Saturday morning will begin its opening arguments in Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate

Though Trump’s team has 24 hours over three days to present their arguments, they are not expected to use all of their allotted time. They will likely present a preview for about three hours on Saturday morning and resume their opening arguments on Monday.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates. All times eastern.

12:01 PM: Trial adjourned until 1 PM ET on Monday.

11:55 AM: Cipollone says Schiff did not show up at the House hearing to be asked questions about his report and did not show Chairman Nadler “respect” by not showing up like Ken Starr did. He says impeachment shouldn’t be a shell game and Democrats should give the Senators the facts. He asks the Senators to think about that whenever they learn of everything the Democrats have omitted. He says it would be a complete “abuse of power” to do what Democrats are asking the Senators to do. He thanks the Senators for their attention, and he says he looks forward to seeing them on Monday.

11:40 AM: On due process, Philbin says there was a suggestion that due process was not required and is “just a privilege.” He says due process was denied to Trump in the first two rounds of hearings, especially in the secret round of hearings in the first round. He has Nadler never responded to letters from the White House inquiring about process, and says it is inaccurate to say the White House got due process throughout the House hearings. He says Trump was “completely locked out” for 71 of 78 days.

11:30 AM: Pat Philbin up to talk about obstruction and due process issues. He says there has not been “blanket defiance” of subpoenas and the White House has had a legal explanation for every resistance. He says the Office of Legal Counsel has had a legal explanation for every one.

11:15 AM: Sekulow says House Managers ignored the testimony of witnesses who said Trump had longstanding concerns about corruption in Ukraine. He also says the facts from the Democrats’ hearing also establish that Trump was concerned about burden-sharing.

11:00 AM: Sekulow says disagreeing with Trump’s foreign policy agenda is “not an impeachable offense.”

10:56 AM: Jay Sekulow now up, says Senators cannot decide this case in a vacuum. He asks Senators to put themselves in Trump’s shoes. He says before Trump was sworn into office, he was subjected to an FBI investigation and, within 6 months of his inauguration, found a Special Counsel appointed to investigate “Russia collusion” that eventually did not establish collusion. He says House Managers tried to re-litigate it.

10:52 AM: Purpura says most of the witnesses never spoke to Trump and points out that when Sondland and Sen. Johnson (R-WI) asked Trump about the security assistance, he said there was no quid pro quo. He says Democrats are building their case on the assumptions and presumptions of Sondland. He says Democrats did not play Sondland’s clip in which he told Schiff that Trump told him there was no quid pro quos of any kind.

10:47 AM: Purpura says the House Managers know that the Ukrainians not knowing about pause on security assistance “is fatal to their cause” so they are trying to “muddy the waters.”

10:39 AM: Purpura says Democrats didn’t tell Senators about Volker’s testimony about Ukrainians not know that military aid was being withheld. Plays Stefanik’s exchange in the House with Volker. He says Democrats are trying to be mind-readers and claiming to know what Zelensky was thinking better than Zelensky. Purpura says there cannot be a quid pro quo “without the quo.”

10:35 AM: Purpura says Jennifer Williams was so concerned about Trump’s call that she didn’t tell anybody for two months and waited until Pelosi started to conduct the impeachment inquiry. He plays Morrison’s testimony in the House in which he stated that he did not hear Trump demand anything from the Ukrainians on the call.

10:33 AM: Purpura says Democrats did not show Senators Yovanovitch’ testimony in which she said the Javelin missiles were not part of the security assistance. He says Trump was not referring to himself when he said “do us a favor” and Democrats are trying to “confuse” Senators by omitting Yovanovitch’s testimony about the Javelin missiles.

10:25 AM: Purpura says “the president did nothing wrong” and was, “at all times, acting in the national interest.” Purpura now speaking about how Trump approaches foreign aid. Trump, he says, is concerned about burden-sharing and corruption.

10:18 AM: Cipollone yields to Mike Purpura, the deputy White House counsel, who plays the clip of Schiff making up quotes from Trump. Purpura says the most important piece of evidence is “the actual transcript” of Trump’s call. He says if that were the only evidence they had, it would be enough to show that the Democrats’ entire theory is “completely unfounded.” He says once the “bluster and innuendo” are swept away, we are left with six key facts that have not and will not change.

Purpura says the transcript shows no quid pro quo. He says Zelensky and other officials have said there was no quid pro quo. Third, Zelensky and other officials did not even know the assistance was paused until after the call. Fourth, not a single witness testified that Trump himself said there was a quid pro quo. Fifth, the security assistance flowed on September 11 without the Ukrainian government announcing anything. Sixth, Trump has been a better friend and supporter of Ukraine than Obama.

10:15 AM: Cipollone says Senators will discover that Trump has a strong record confronting Russia, according to the House’s witnesses. Cipollone asks why Democrats would lock everyone out of it and run the process they did if they were really interested in finding the truth. He says it’s evidence Democrats don’t even really believe in the facts of their case. He says Democrats are here to “perpetuate the most massive interference” in an election in history.

10:07 AM: Pat Cipollone leads off and says they will be “respectful” of everyone’s time and will focus on two points. He says Democrats have not come “anywhere close to meeting their burden for what they’re asking you to do” and they do not intend to use all 24 hours.

“You will find that the president did absolutely nothing wrong,” he says. Cipollone says they intend to go through various pieces of evidence Democrats did not decide to show. He says House Managers should have given Senators all of the facts because they are asking Senators to do something “consequential” and “very, very dangerous.” He tells Senators that Democrats are asking them to overturn the results of the last election and remove Trump from the ballot that is occurring in about nine months.  He says Democrats are asking Senators to tear up ballots and take that decision away from the American people.

10:05 AM: Senators recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the trial is about to resume. McConnell says today’s session will be 2-3 hours.

9:50 AM: House Managers will deliver their trial record (28,000 pages) to the Senate. Trump’s team is up at the top of the hour.


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