- The Washington Times - Friday, January 24, 2020

President Trump’s legal team will lay out the framework for their defense Saturday morning, but the bulk of the rebuttal will take place on Monday.

The Senate will come together for the continuation of the impeachment trial at 10 a.m. Saturday for a couple of hours, but a source on the president’s legal team said the bulk of the president’s defense will be presented Monday.

“We will be presenting strong rebuttal to what we have heard from the past few days setting that up so we can get into all the details,” the individual told reporters.

The source added the House impeachment managers have brought the Bidens up during their presentation this week, arguing they “have established there is something relevant there, so we will have to address that.”

The president tweeted earlier Friday he was disappointed the defense’s presentation would begin on Saturday  — a day most Americans are not watching television.

“After having been treated unbelievably unfairly in the House, and then having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud & deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer & their crew, looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.” the president tweeted.

Mr. Trump’s legal team will have a total of 24 hours to defend the House Democrats’ charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House Democrats have used their 24 hours over the course of three-days to try to make their case against Mr. Trump.

After the defense is finished, the senators will get to submit written questions to each side before they debate whether to hear from more witnesses.

The impeachment of Mr. Trump stemmed from a July 25 phone call in which he pressed Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky for a “favor” in investigating former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election.

The president’s legal team says he is warranted in his request to probe the Biden’s conduct given that Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, was paid about $50,000 a month to sit on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma despite having no expertise in the industry and getting the job while his father was leading Obama administration policy in that graft-riddled country.

Interest increased in Mr. Biden’s actions in Ukraine after he recently boasted of forcing Ukraine to fire the country’s chief prosecutor in spring 2016. He said threatened to block a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee. The prosecutor was widely viewed as not doing enough to combat corruption. But the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, also had looked into corruption allegations against Burisma and Mykola Zlochevsky, the Ukraine oligarch running the company.

A whistleblower, who is said to be a CIA official assigned to the White House, accused the president of abusing his power on the call, including withholding $391 million of U.S. military aid from Ukraine as leverage.

The whistleblower, whose alleged identity is widely discussed in Washington but whose name is being withheld by The Washington Times, has ties to the Democratic Party and the elder Mr. Biden.

The whistleblower also met with the staff of the chairman for the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Schiff, for guidance before making the complaint.

Mr. Schiff spearheaded the impeachment of Mr. Trump and now serves as the lead House manager prosecuting the case in the Senate.

Mr. Trump has acknowledged that he wanted an investigation into alleged corruption involving the Bidens and Ukraine interference in the 2016 election.

Mr. Trump also wanted Ukraine to look into a missing Democratic National Committee server that was hacked by Russia during the 2016 presidential campaigns. An American cybersecurity company called CrowdStrike examined the server — but did not have physical custody of it — to probe the hack. The server disappeared before it got to the FBI.

Mr. Trump subscribes to an unsubstantiated theory that the server ended up in Ukraine.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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