Update (1540ET): Trump's legal team wrapped up their case in just over three of the allotted 16 hours.
The next phase will consist of up to four hours of questions from senators to both the House managers and Trump's legal team - though several senators have said they don't think it will take that long.
"Our country needs to get back to work. I know that you know that. But instead we are here. The majority party promised to unify and deliver more Covid relief. But instead, they did this," said Trump attorney Bruce Castor in closing remarks.
Castor called Trump "the most pro-police, anti-mob president' in US history - suggesting that Democratic lawmakers turned a blind eye to BLM protests. He also said that the attack on the Capitol was in no way an "insurrection."
"Insurrection is a term of art. It’s defined in the law," argued Castor. "It involves taking over a country, a shadow government, taking the TV stations over and having some plan on what you’re going to do when you finally take power. Clearly this is not that."
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Update (1410ET): After spending much of the morning laying out their case for why the impeachment is a sham, former President Trump's legal team proceeded to play several montages of Democrats doing the exact same thing they've impeached Trump over - namely, calling for violence against Republicans. Interspersed throughout are clips of leftists committing violence against conservatives following the 'incitement.
They also played clips of Democrats objecting to election results:
As well as clips of Democrats gunning for a Trump impeachment at all costs:
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After Democratic impeachment managers spent the last two days dissecting videos and tweets - and in one case fabricating evidence to try and convince the world that former President Trump incited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, it's now time for the defense to counter.
In what is expected to last just one day, Trump's impeachment lawyers will reportedly present a montage of prominent Democrats similarly 'inciting' their base, as BLM and Antifa extremists spent much of last year committing violent and destructive crimes throughout the country.
If anything, it might serve as some Friday entertainment as Trump's second impeachment draws to a close. The proceedings begin at Noon, ET.
As we've noted several times, this is nothing more than political theater, as Democrats simply don't have the votes to convict the former president - which would require at least 17 Republicans to cross the aisle for a conviction. So far, they've got six.
"Many of them are loyal to Donald Trump even to this day, despite what he may have said about them or their families in the past," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Bloomberg Television on Thursday, adding "And more of them are afraid of Donald Trump’s political power."
According to Trump attorney David Schoen, the defense might only need three or four hours on Friday for an opening argument, while a person familiar with their strategy told Bloomberg that they decided to "slim down" their presentation based on what the Democrats presented earlier in the week.
According to Schoen, the trial "could be over Saturday."
"We’re just putting on the evidence, the evidence speaks for itself," said Schoen, referring to the Democrats' impeachment effort "a politically partisan process."
After the House managers concluded their arguments, Schoen met for about an hour Thursday night with several Republican senators. He defended having a discussion with lawmakers who are also jurors in the case, saying, “That’s the practice here. There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance to due process whatsoever.”
The trial is all but certain to end with Trump’s acquittal. A conviction would require 17 Senate Republicans to join with Democrats and independents in finding Trump guilty to reach the two-thirds majority necessary. Even the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat said he saw little indication that many Republicans would back conviction. -Bloomberg
Check back for more updates and a live feed when the trial starts...