Trump legal team dismisses Bolton book storm

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

Updated 8:33 AM ET, Tue January 28, 2020

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump’s legal team will wrap up its defense of the President in a short two-hour summing-up on Tuesday after arguing that new revelations by former national security adviser John Bolton are irrelevant to the impeachment trial despite Democratic demands that he be called to testify.

In a manuscript of his forthcoming book first reported by The New York Times, the former national security adviser says Trump ordered him to maintain a hold on US military aid to Ukraine until it agreed to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

At the end of a long day of trial arguments on Monday that largely ignored the new Bolton drama, Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard emeritus professor who joined Trump’s defense team, argued that even if Bolton’s reported claim was true, it would not amount to an impeachable offense.

He made a case for expansive presidential power, saying that a quid pro quo alone does not amount to an abuse of power — the basis of the first article of impeachment — which he said was not sufficient in itself to justify ending a presidency.


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