JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – President Donald Trump’s legal team on Tuesday concluded its three-day presentation as they started it -- arguing that the Democrats’ case amounted to partisan politics that would undo the results of the 2016 presidential election and drive Trump from office.
Trump’s lawyers argued against calling former national security adviser John Bolton as a witness, saying his yet-to-be-published manuscript contains unproven allegations that would be “inadmissible” during a typical trial.
As the defense used less than half its allotted 24 hours of argument, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said the impeachment trial "should end now, as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, Democrats and some moderate Republicans pressed to call Bolton and other witnesses as the case headed to the phase of questions and answers, with senators on both sides getting 16 hours to pose queries.
“At the conclusion of that period is what the nation will be waiting for, likely on Friday, and that is a motion, arguments and a vote on whether or not we’re going to hear from additional witnesses, particularly John Bolton,” said News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney of Jacksonville University’s Public Policy Institute.
At stake are the presidency and the political careers of nearly everyone involved in the impeachment process.
“One thing that appears clear here is the verdict. It appears predictable. The president will be acquitted. Whether we have additional witnesses or not, that’s where it appears to be in terms of a verdict," Mullaney said. “What is not predictable quite frankly is the political consequences for some of the senators and the political consequence for the president come next November when he’s up for reelection.”