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Trump's legal team is getting help from GOP senators who vowed to be 'impartial'

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee gave Trump’s defense lawyers advice on the trial.

By Emily Singer - February 12, 2021
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and (Lindsey Graham)

Three Republican senators who took an oath of impartiality before the Senate impeachment trial began met Thursday night in the Capitol with Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team.

Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Mike Lee of Utah were all seen going into a room that Trump’s lawyers use to prepare for the impeachment trial, CNN reported.

After the meeting, Cruz — who himself is under fire for his role in inciting the insurrectionists with lies about a stolen election — said the three men were strategizing with Trump’s legal team.

“We were discussing their strategy for tomorrow, and we were sharing our thoughts, in terms of where the argument was and where to go,” Cruz said, according to Business Insider.

Cruz added, “I think it is always good for the trial to be conducted with the best arguments possible, and to the extent that I had any thoughts or insight on how to do so, I certainly wanted to share.”

Senators, however, take an oath of impartiality ahead of any impeachment trial. They did so both verbally on Jan. 26, when Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) — who is presiding over the trial — asked if senators would swear to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God.”

The three men then signed the “oath book” to put that oath in writing.

Legal experts said their meeting with Trump’s defense team to strategize about the argument to make violates that oath.

When I was a prosecutor, we once discovered that a juror was communicating about the case with the defense attorney during the trial. We prosecuted the juror,” Glenn Kirschner, an NBC News legal analyst, tweeted.  

The meeting took place the night before Trump’s legal team was set to begin their defense of Trump for inciting the Jan.6 insurrection at the Capitol.

For the past two days, House Democratic impeachment managers made the case using Trump’s own words, the words of the insurrectionists, and evidence that Trump took hours to finally attempt to put a stop to the mayhem carried out by his supporters.

Yet after watching the compelling and disturbing evidence, Republicans immediately began coming up with excuses about why they would not convict Trump and vote to ban him from ever holding political office again.

It’s a sign that Democrats are unlikely to secure the 17 Republican votes necessary to convict Trump.

Trump’s defense team plans to use false equivalencies to say Democrats also foment violence with their words, as well as continue to make the already debunked argument that the impeachment trial is not constitutional.

Multiple reports say Trump’s lawyers will use only a small fraction of the 16 hours they are allotted to wage their defense — a sign they know Republicans already plan to acquit Trump and thus they do not need to present a robust or fact-based argument.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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