President Trump defiant as impeachment trial about to begin

Trumps team revealing a six-page brief calling the impeachment dangerous.
2:49 | 01/20/20

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Transcript for President Trump defiant as impeachment trial about to begin
Back here at home to the historic week in the impeachment of president trump. The trial set to begin on Tuesday. Tonight the president heading back to Washington after his lawyers released their legal argument. Calling the case against him illegitimate and dangerous. While house Democrats were preparing to make their case, meeting in speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. David right Wright starts us off in palm beach, Florida. Reporter: President trump's made clear his disdain for the process, but this weekend trump's lawyers filed his first formal response. This six-page letter blasting the house impeachment effort as "Poisonous partisanship," "A lawless process," arguing "Nothing in these articles could permit even beginning to consider removing a duly elected president." Is it your position that president trump should not be impeached even if all the evidence and arguments laid out by the house are accepted as fact? That's right. Reporter: Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz just joined the president's defense team. His past clients include Jeffrey Epstein, O.J. Simpson, and Claus Von Bulow. Dershowitz claims that abuse of power is not grounds for impeachment. Half of American presidents have been accused by their political enemies of abusing their power. The framers didn't want to have that kind of criteria in the constitution, because it weaponizes impeachment for a partisan purposes. Abuse of power is at the center of what the framers intended an impeachable offense to be. The mere idea this would have appalled the founders who were worried about exactly that kind of solicitation of foreign interference in an election for personal benefit. Reporter: One major sticking point at the start of this trial is the issue of witnesses after the white house refused to cooperate with the house investigation. And if my argument succeeds, there's no need for witnesses. Indeed, there's no need for even arguments. Reporter: Senate Republicans plan to postpone the witness issue until after house managers present their case and the president responds, as was done in the Clinton impeachment. I'm going to vote against calling the four witnesses requested by senator Schumer. They're all covered by executive privilege. They're part of the national security team of the president. They could've been called in the house. They chose not to. If senator Mcconnell prevails and there are no witnesses, it will be the first impeachment trial in history that goes to conclusion without witnesses. David Wright joins us from west palm beach where the president is spending the weekend. David, the trial begins Tuesday, but they still haven't announced the rules. That's right, Tom. One of the first things we can expect is a fight over the Democrats are determined to hear from new witnesses and they want to see additional documents. Republicans are pushing back on they want a quick trial and they're eager to get straight to the house's case. Tom?

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