Donald Trump’s legal counsel continued to make the case for the defence at his Senate impeachment trial on Monday, working to discredit the Democratic-led investigation into the president’s conduct towards Ukraine and fixating on Hunter Biden, prompting senators speaking afterwards to characterise their arguments as “nonsensical”, “absurd” and “incredibly surreal”.

Mr Trump meanwhile took out his frustration on Twitter, calling CNN anchor Don Lemon “the dumbest man on television” for laughing at him on air, as further damaging revelations emerged from the leaked draft of ex-national security’s adviser John Bolton’s new memoir.

The president is due to unveil his ambitions plans to bring peace to the Middle East today alongside Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu before heading to Wildwood, New Jersey, for his latest Keep America Great rally.

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Donald Trump's team of lawyers are set to begin their closing arguments in defence of the president during the US Senate's impeachment trial. Senators will then likely vote by Friday or Saturday on whether to call for more witnesses to provide testimony under oath. 

The attorneys will likely go on for two to three hours today before concluding. 

If elected president, Bernie Sanders said he would “reverse every single thing” Donald Trump’s administration has done to US immigration policy, including what the 2020 hopeful described as a "racist" travel ban on Muslim-majority countries.

The hard-line policy would allow Mr Trump’s White House to deny legal permanent residency to any immigrant determined to potentially require government financial assistance while living in the US.

Story to come...

Donald Trump's team of attorneys are set to conclude arguments today as the US Senate considers adding witnesses to its impeachment trial against the president.

The development comes as a leaked manuscript for a book penned by former National Security Adviser John Bolton directly connects Mr Trump to demands from the White House for Ukraine to launch political investigations into the president's 2020 political rival, Joe Biden.


Here's The Independent's Bel Trew and John T Bennett with more on Donald Trump's peace plan:

Breaking news: Donald Trump has unveiled his long-awaited "Middle East peace plan", which the president said was a "'vision for peace, prosperity and a new future" for Palestine and Israel. 

The proposal calls for a State of Palestine to be created and four-year freeze of Israel’s ongoing settlement activities. The State of Palestine’s capital would be located in portions of eastern Jerusalem under the plan. The question remains whether Palestine and Israel will support the US president’s proposal.

From The Independent's Washington Bureau Chief John T Bennett: "Mr Trump lashed out again at Fox News, this time for broadcasting critical-of-him comments about the impeachment saga from Maryland Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen and others. "He has been on forever playing up the Impeachment Hoax. Dems wouldn’t even give Fox their low ratings debates...." the president wrote. ".....So, what the hell has happened to @FoxNews." Mr Trump then added: "Watch, this will be the beginning of the end for Fox, just like the other two which are dying in the ratings. Social Media is great!"


The editorial page deputy at Washington Post has tweeted the following gentle reminder about comments Republican Senator Lindsey Graham made in October after a leaked transcript of former National Security Adviser John Bolton's book reportedly connected Donald Trump directly to demands for Ukraine to announce political investigations into the Bidens:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer decried calls to have former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s leaked book manuscript read in a classified setting, calling the move “absurd” and saying there was no alternative to testimony under oath, according to reports. 

The New York Democrat said on Tuesday: “Let me repeat: President Trump and Ambassador Bolton said diametrically opposed things. Only one of them is willing to testify under oath. Who do you believe? ... Who do most Republicans think is right?"

The president would like to ask you a question:


House Intelligence chairman and lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff has decried the Supreme Court's decision to allow a new immigrant wealth test, writing on Twitter: "Trump has broken our nation’s promise to immigrants: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free."

A new report in Politico says Utah Republican Mitt Romney has "made a strong pitch" for witnesses to be featured in the US Senate's impeachment trial against Donald Trump. 

The news comes after a leaked transcript of former National Security Adviser John Bolton's new book directly connected the president to demands for Ukraine to launch political investigations into his 2020 political rival Joe BIden. 

A staggering majority of Americans under the age of 30 support removing Donald Trump from office, according to a new survey

Business Insider’s SurveyMonkey Audience polling published on Tuesday morning showed that a whopping 63 per cent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 responded that “Trump should be removed from office”. 

The survey featured 1,070 individual responses. Just 24 per cent of those surveyed within that same age group said they did not think MR Trump should be removed. 


'Trump's deal for Middle East peace helps only himself and Netanyahu'

For Indy Voices, Ahmed Aboudouh has this timely warning on the realities of any deal between the US and Jerusalem for the wider region.

Trump, Netanyahu to unveil Middle East Peace plan

The president is due to unveil his ambitions plans to bring peace to the Middle East today alongside Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu before heading to Wildwood, New Jersey, for his latest Keep America Great rally.

In the meantime, Bibi has problems of his own...

Bel Trew has the latest.

Ex-Republicans take to Twitter to explain why they left the party

#ILefttheGOP was trending on the social media site on Monday as disgruntled right-wingers explained when the party lost their vote.

Graig Graziosi reads the tea leaves.


Republicans can't stop talking about Obama during Trump's impeachment trial

Also for Indy100, here's Greg Evans on Team Trump's ongoing obsession with trashing the legacy of Barack Obama.

Matt Gaetz: AOC wants to 'force you to eat nothing but kale and quinoa'

We've touched on the Florida congressman's appearance on Laura Ingraham's Fox show last night but his attack on Schiff was nothing compared to his ludicrous assault on New York congresswoman and progressive icon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

"She wants to fundamentally change everything, where unless the government is forcing you to eat nothing but kale and quinoa while you're riding around on your non-gender specific unicorn to your next Pocahontas rain dance, you're just not woke enough," he said.

Sirena Bergman explains it all for Indy100.

Trump's spiritual adviser says 'Satanic pregnancies' prayer 'taken out of context'

Over the weekend, the White House's consultant on all things Christian, Paula White, went viral raving about "Satanic pregnancies" during a sermon.

Unusually, the "prosperity gospel" huckster has taken the rare step of explaining herself.

Here's Alex Woodward on her alarming remarks.


NPR reporter barred from Pompeo trip after tense interview

This administration is nothing if not petulant and, as sure as night follows day, journalist Michele Kelemen has been barred from following the secretary of state to Kiev because she works for the same organisation he fell out with so spectacularly over the weekend.

Kate Ng has this report.

Mike Pompeo heads to Kiev, days after saying ‘Americans couldn’t f*****g care about Ukraine’

Ollie Carroll has this analysis of Trump's secretary of state's extremely ill-timed visit to Eastern Europe.

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