White House legal team begins impeachment defense

President Donald Trump’s lawyers accused Democrats of trying to undo the 2016 election in the midst of the release of a recording appearing to be of the president and an indicted Giuliani associate.
3:15 | 01/26/20

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Transcript for White House legal team begins impeachment defense
Dan, turning now to the impeachment trial, president trump's lawyers calling yesterday's session in the senate a sneak peek of his defense. Accusing Democrats of trying to undo the 2016 election. ABC's David Wright is at the white house with more. David, good morning. Reporter: Good morning, whit. A tape emerged on the very tape that the president's lawyers launched their defense in the senate trial, the timing probably no accident. It would seem to corroborate the Democrats' claim that the president had firsthand knowledge at least of some of the business being conducted in Ukraine by Rudy Giuliani and his associates. Mr. President, thank you for being here. Reporter: Sources say this recording is from a private dinner at the trump international hotel in Washington back in April of 2018. On the tape, president trump and indicted Giuliani associate lev parnas appear to discuss Ukraine in detail. How long would they last in a fight with Russia? I don't think very long -- without us, not very long. Without us. Reporter: Even though trump has repeatedly he doesn't know lev parnas. Whom he describes as a con man. I don't know him. Other than he's is sort of like a groupie, he shows up at fund-raisers. Reporter: The dinner doesn't just include Donald Trump but his son Donald junior, the video made public the same day Donald Trump's legal team began presenting the defense of the president in his senate impeachment trial. They're asking you to tear up all of the ballots across this country on your own initiative. Reporter: The president's legal team sought to discredit the Democrats accusing them of subverting electoral politics. The American people decide elections. They have one. Coming up. In nine months. Reporter: They insisted the president did absolutely nothing wrong. Despite three days of arguments to the contrary by house impeachment managers. We believe that when you hear the facts, and that's what we intend to cover today, the facts, you'll find that the president did absolutely nothing wrong. Reporter: And they accused the Democrats, especially congressman Adam Schiff, of twisting the facts to make president trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president seem sinister. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand lots of it. That's fake. That's not the real call. Reporter: Sources close to the president's legal defense say that this brief two-hour Saturday session was just a preview of the case that they'll make in greater detail starting tomorrow. As for that tape, the white house has not challenged its authenticity but they say the president has a right to surround himself with supporters. And they also note, nothing discussed on that tape is illegal.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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