Trump’s Defense Will Make Its Final Arguments Over Witnesses

For the third time in American history, the Senate has convened as a court of impeachment to consider whether to remove a sitting president, and two teams of lawyers are facing off in a confrontation with heavy political and constitutional consequences.

The seven House Democratic impeachment managers, handpicked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, have argued that President Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to help smear his political rivals and obstructed Congress to conceal his actions. Mr. Trump’s defense team — drawn from the White House counsel’s office and outside lawyers, including a few who frequently appear on television — has argued that the president did nothing wrong and accused Democrats of using impeachment as a tool to remove an opponent they could not defeat at the ballot box.

Here is a look at the opposing legal teams and how they see impeachment, in their own words.

Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

As Republicans face mounting pressure to subpoena new witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, Democratic senators are again rejecting the idea of a deal that would schedule depositions from John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, in exchange for a witness that Mr. Trump wants, like Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president.

Revelations from Mr. Bolton’s forthcoming book have rocked the Republicans, and Senator Pat Toomey, Republican from Pennsylvania, has privately suggested a one-for-one deal. But Democratic senators say they will refuse to sign off on witnesses that they believe are irrelevant to the case.

“I’m not making a deal,” Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said Tuesday after the trial ended. “All they have to do is file a motion, and with 53 Republicans, you’d think they could probably get 51 votes out of it. I don’t need to make a deal. If they want a witness, whoever they want, put it up, have a vote on it.”

Senator Richard J. Durbin picked up the theme on Tuesday morning. “Listen, we’re not trading baseball cards,” Mr. Durbin said on CNN, later adding, “This idea of bargaining — ‘Well, we’ll give you one irrelevant witness for one material witness’ — baloney.”

President Trump’s legal team is expected to sum up his defense, including a strong argument against calling witnesses who would shed more light on Mr. Trump’s actions. His lawyers will seek to drive home the argument that the House made a shoddy case, and the Senate need not reach in and bolster it by hearing new evidence.

Democrats have been calling for witnesses to appear in the Senate before the trial began, and the House impeachment managers have aimed their arguments at a handful of moderate Republican senators in hopes of persuading them to break with their party.

The trial will resume at 1 p.m.

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