Watch: White House legal team continues Trump defense in Senate impeachment trial

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President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate resumed Monday as his legal team lays out its case for acquittal.

The president's defense, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, comes amid reports that Trump told former National Security Adviser John Bolton that he wanted to withhold military aid to Ukraine until the country helped with investigations into political rivals including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Former independent counsel Ken Starr, also part of the president's legal defense team, took the lead on Monday, giving a lengthy overview of the history of impeachment in the United States. 

Trump was formally impeached by the House on Dec. 18 on two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. A whistleblower report on Trump's Ukraine dealings - made public in September - triggered the probe.

The president's legal team began its defense on Saturday, following three days of evidence presented by the House impeachment managers arguing for Trump's removal. Trump's lawyers began their opening arguments by casting doubt on the Democrats' case that the president tried to pressure Ukraine, arguing that key witnesses based their knowledge on "presumptions" rather than direct knowledge of the president's aims.

Trump downplayed the news about Bolton in two tweets on Monday. In the first he said that he "NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats."

Trump tweet

Later Monday morning, Trump falsely said that the House "never even asked John Bolton to testify." House investigators asked Bolton to testify during their impeachment probe, but Bolton declined. The Trump administration instructed its staff not to comply with the probe.

Trump tweet 2

Like the House impeachment managers, Trump's defense team will get up to 24 hours over three days to present their arguments.

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