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Photo: Senate Television via Getty Images

President Trump's legal team took their turn before the Senate on Saturday to rebut Democrats' lengthy arguments for removing Trump from office.

Why it matters: The two-hour session was a first look at Trump's defense. The Trump team methodically tried to poke holes in the House impeachment managers' case, rather than going after the Bidens, as they previously suggested they will.

  • Trump's defense team noted during two hours every bit of evidence they say the managers skipped, trying to cast doubt whenever it could on linking Trump's requests to investigate the Bidens to delaying military aide to Ukraine.

Highlights:

  • Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow held up a copy of the Mueller report and quoted, "'ultimately this investigation did not establish that the campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government and its election interference activities."
    • Context: The Mueller investigation established multiple links between Trump campaign officials and people tied to the Russian government — including Russian offers of campaign assistance that the campaign was occasionally receptive to.
  • Trump deputy counsel Michael Purpura pointed to testimony from Bill Taylor, George Kent, Kurt Volker, and Tim Morrison to argue that Ukrainian officials did not know key military aid was withheld at the time of Trump's infamous July 25 call with Ukraine's president, so withholding aid could not have been a threat.

The mood in the chamber: Of the five Republicans who are being watched most closely as possible votes for witnesses, Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Cory Gardner were the most prolific note-takers.

Of the Democrats seeking the White House:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders sat slumped at his desk, resting his chin on his hand or fidgeting with his fingers clasped in front of his face.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren sat hunched over a legal pad for a long time, writing furiously and not appearing to pay attention to the trial.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar took some notes and watched some of the Trump team's remarks, but often looked away and stared around the room.

The other side: Democratic House impeachment managers marched 28,578 pages of impeachment trial and witness records to the Senate on Saturday morning.

What you need to know:

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 17 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September period in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.

5 hours ago - World

Former spy Steele defends controversial Trump Russia dossier

Former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele arrives at the High Court in London in July 2020. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The author of the "Steele Dossier," containing unverified claims about former President Trump told ABC News he stands by his controversial report, according to excerpts from an upcoming documentary released Sunday.

Why it matters: The FBI drew on former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele's dossier as part of its investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged links to Russia's government, which led to former special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.