Nothing to see here: Republican senators met with Trump’s legal team to give advice on defense against impeachment

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Senators had to play a dual role in Donald trumpsecond impeachment trial. They are not only witnesses to the insurgency he instigated, but also the jury that will decide whether or not his behavior warrants a conviction. But for a select group of pro-Trump lawmakers, there has apparently been a third hat to wear: informal advisers to the ex-president’s clumsy legal team.

After Democrats finished their case against Trump on Thursday, Senators Ted cruz, Lindsey graham, and Mike lee huddled for about an hour with Bruce Castor and David Schoen, obviously to review the strategy. “I just wanted to sit down and say, ‘Okay, what are you all trying to come up with? “And share our thoughts on where things stand,” Cruz recalled in an interview with Fox News Thursday night. “And certainly what I urged Trump’s defense attorneys to focus on was [on the legal standard of incitement]. “Friday morning, CNN Kaitlin collins reported that the three senators specifically intended to give Trump’s legal team “rebuttal advice” to the Democrats’ arguments.

“There is no way there are 67 votes to condemn him,” Cruz said Thursday, saying House impeachment officials had failed to prove there was a connection between Trump urging his crowds of angry supporters to march to Capitol Hill to “fight like hell” for him and the deadly riot that took place there immediately after. “They come close to demonstrating that the president’s conduct Trump broke the law, constitutes an incitement, “the Texas senator added, comparing Trump’s speech to the support Democrats, including the vice president, Kamala harris, voiced for the Black Lives Matter protests last year. “She urged the violence to continue,” Cruz falsely asserted, triggering a gentle rebuke even from Fox’s host. Shannon Bream. “Encouraging protests is different from encouraging violence,” Bream said, “so I think we have to be careful how we describe words.”

Cruz, of course, has a personal interest in seeing Trump acquitted; with the senator Josh hawley, he helped promote the former president’s lies about electoral fraud and led the objection to the certification of results in the Senate. If Trump is guilty, it is extremely difficult to argue that others who spoke at the pre-riot rally or who advanced insurgent goals do not share it. But in openly strategizing with Castor and Schoen, who earlier this week performed an awkward good cop / bad cop routine in rambling opening statements that enraged their client and even confused some Republicans, Cruz, Graham and Lee. even remove the pretext of impartiality – an indication that, for the personal danger Trump has placed them, they have absolutely no intention of breaking ranks with him. “The end result of this trial is obvious to everyone in the room,” said Cruz.

For their part, Trump’s lawyers, who have previously said they won’t need all the time allotted to them to plead his innocence, seemed grateful for the help. “It was a very good thing to make us feel welcome here,” Schoen said after the meeting, adding that the three pro-Trump impeachment jurors who offered them advice are “friendly guys.”

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