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As trial nears, President Trump lawyers call impeachment case 'flimsy'

Donald Trump's impeachment trial is set to begin Tuesday and a new poll finds a narrow majority of Americans say the Senate should vote to convict the president.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's legal team is asserting that he did “absolutely nothing wrong" and calling the impeachment case “flimsy” and a “dangerous perversion of the Constitution." 

The brief from Trump's lawyers was filed before arguments expected this week in the Senate impeachment trial. 

It offered the most detailed glimpse of the defense they intend to use against Democratic efforts to convict the president and oust him from office. 

It is meant as a counter to a brief filed by House Democrats that summarized weeks of testimony from more than a dozen witnesses in laying out the impeachment case.

Trump's team concluded that the "Senate should reject the Articles of Impeachment and acquit the President immediately."

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In a response to the president's Saturday answer to the Senate summons, House impeachment managers filed a 7-page response arguing that Trump " acted in ways that prior Presidents expressly disavowed, while injuring our national security and democracy." 

The impeachment trial is set to begin Tuesday afternoon, once lawmakers return to Washington following Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. 

In a new CNN poll, that the news outlet says was conducted by SSRS, the findings showed that around half of Americans (51%) say the Senate should vote to convict and remove President Trump from office. The poll found that 45% said the Senate should vote against conviction and removal.

CNN reports that the poll was the first "major national poll" since the articles of impeachment were given over to the Senate.  

Monday the Trump administration named a list of House members who will serve as part of Trump's defense team during the Senate impeachment trial. In the list released by the White House Monday, the members of Congress include: Congressman Doug Collins, Congressman Mike Johnson, Congressman Jim Jordan, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, Congressman Mark Meadows, Congressman John Ratcliffe, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Lee Zeldin. 

In a statement from the White House, it says "Throughout this process, these Members of Congress have provided guidance to the White House team, which was prohibited from participating in the proceedings concocted by Democrats in the House of Representatives." 

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