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Live updates: Trump's defense team to focus on process arguments

Donald Trump's lawyers plan to argue four key points during their defense of the former president today — all focused on process.

The big picture: Trump's team will spend just a few hours presenting their case and plans to do just enough to sustain the votes needed for acquittal, knowing that most Republican senators are dug in on their position that impeaching a former president is unconstitutional.


Details: Trump's team, led by Bruce Castor and David Schoen, will argue ...

  • The trial is unconstitutional
  • There was no due process
  • Convicting Trump violates his First Amendment rights
  • Impeachment doesn't unify the country

What to watch: Trump's lawyers will rely on video, albeit far less graphic than the images and audio shown by the House impeachment managers.

  • They'll air footage of the certification process surrounding the 2016 election, when a handful of Democrats — including Rep. Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager — objected to the Electoral College results making Trump president.
  • They will also home in on Trump telling his supporters at the Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" rally to "peacefully and patriotically" make their way to the Capitol.

The defense will also point to a series of facts showing the post-rally riot had been planned, something House managers did for different reasons.

  • They'll point out that pipe bombs were placed before the speech and that Trump administration officials had offered federal law enforcement to help secure the city prior to the rally.
  • This evidence, the defense will say, shows Trump's words at the rally didn't directly incite the attack.

The bottom line: Republicans lawmakers — as well as Trump’s defense team — agree that they want to get the trial over as quickly as possible, given the beating they’re taking from the media and the strength of the Democrats' presentation.

This story will be updated throughout the day with highlights from the trial.

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