Accord to The Hill —
The defense team has 24 hours to speak over three days beginning Saturday. The lead attorneys — White House counsel Pat Cipollone and personal attorney Jay Sekulow — have been tight-lipped about the specifics of their case, but they are not expected to use the full 24 hours. The defense is likely to focus on the argument that Trump had the power as chief executive to set foreign policy toward Ukraine and that the two articles of impeachment do not allege an actual crime. Arguments in the impeachment trial have started at 1 p.m. on weekdays to accommodate Chief Justice John Roberts’ work at the Supreme Court.
Today at 10 a.m. along with the earlier start time, combined with the brief presentation, will benefit the handful of Democratic senators trying to fit in time on the presidential campaign trail ahead of the Iowa caucuses. House impeachment managers are slated to conclude their opening arguments on Friday and are expected to use most if not all of their 24 hours allotted.
The Democrats making the case against Trump have laid out in granular detail how they believe he abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and how he obstructed Congress by refusing to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry. The GOP-controlled Senate is nearly certain to acquit Trump, though there is still uncertainty surrounding whether the chamber will hear from additional witnesses sought primarily by Democrats. Once the president’s team concludes its arguments, senators will have 16 hours to ask questions of both sides. That will be followed by a vote on whether to hear additional witnesses and evidence.