WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump’s lawyers have opened their impeachment trial defense in a rare Saturday session by accusing Democrats of striving to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
They say the Democrats’ investigation into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine was not a fact-finding mission but rather a politically motivated effort to drive him from the White House.
The legal team arguments were aimed at rebutting allegations that Trump abused his power when he asked Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and then obstructed Congress as it tried to investigate.
The defense is asserting an expansive view of presidential powers and portraying Trump as besieged by political opponents.
House prosecutors wrapped up their presentation on Friday.
Democrats bid to win support from Republicans in the Senate for witnesses in the president’s impeachment trial was already a tough challenge.
Democrats have warned they will live to regret not delving deeper into the evidence of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
One of the managers, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, even told them it was “treacherous” to vote against gathering more evidence.
Still, it appears the Democrats are no closer to persuading the necessary four Republicans to break with their party in a critical vote expected next week.