WASHINGTON-President Trump’s lawyers have begun defending him at his impeachment trial, accusing Democrats of seeking to overturn the result of the 2016 election.

“The president did absolutely nothing wrong,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said. Trump’s defence will last three days and follows the Democrats’ prosecution case which ended on Friday.

The president faces two charges linked to his dealings with Ukraine. The charges, or articles of impeachment, accuse him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

He is alleged to have withheld military aid to pressure the Ukrainian President, VolodymyrZelensky, into starting a corruption investigation into Mr Trump’s political rival, Democrat Joe Biden, and his son Hunter.

Democrats also accuse Trump of making a visit by Zelensky to the White House contingent on an investigation. Trump is charged with obstructing Congress by failing to co-operate with the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry. The president dismisses the accusations as a witch-hunt.

What else did the defence say?

The trial in the Senate will decide if Mr Trump should be removed from office. This is unlikely as the Republicans control the Senate and any such move would need a two-thirds majority.

Echoing a line heard from many Republicans, MrCipollone said Democrats were “asking you not only to overturn the results of the last election... they’re asking you to remove President Trump from the ballot in the election that’s occurring in approximately nine months.”

“They are asking you to do something very, very consequential and, I would submit to you ... very, very dangerous,” he said.

Much of the abuse of power charge centres on a phone call in July between Mr Trump and MrZelenksy.

Trump defence lawyer Mike Purpura insisted there was no quid pro quo - as asserted by the Democrats.

“Zelenksy felt no pressure. President Zelensky says he felt no pressure. The House managers tell you they know better,” he said.

In a news conference after Saturday’s hearing, Adam Schiff, the Democrats’ lead prosecutor, raised the disputed issue of calling witnesses.

“The one question they did not address at all is why they don’t want to give the American people a fair trial, why they want this to be the first impeachment case in history without a single witness and without a single document being handed over.

“That ought to tell you everything you need to know about the strength and weaknesses of this case”. The leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, told reporters that Mr Trump’s defence team had inadvertently “made a really compelling case for why the Senate should call witnesses and documents”.