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What Republicans want to hear from Trump's lawyers

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Senate Republicans are all but ready to acquit President Donald Trump and end the Senate impeachment trial.

But they still don’t want the president’s defense team to phone it in.

Privately, some Republicans hope that Trump’s legal defenders mount a substantive defense on the merits of the case instead of generalities about Democrats trying to overturn the 2016 election or broad claims that Trump did “absolutely nothing wrong” — as they did on the first day of the trial.

The president’s lawyers are set to begin their opening arguments Saturday. It’s the first time the White House will publicly present its full case to acquit the president. While it’s essentially guaranteed that the GOP-controlled Senate will not remove Trump from office, his legal defense presents the best public opportunity to win over the handful of Republican senators who could prolong the trial by joining Democrats in their calls for witnesses and documents.

"The president’s team ... has never presented its case since it did not do so in the House,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a key swing vote. “Unlike the House managers, who partially presented when the motions were being debated, the president’s attorneys chose not to do that. It’s not finished yet ... so it’s difficult to judge"

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said he hopes Trump’s team will present a "fact-based" defense that counters the Democrats' case.

“I assume at some point they're going to feature [Alan] Dershowitz and Ken Starr, people like that and talk about impeachment in the broader context of what........

© Politico