Politics - News Analysis
The Fix is In: GOP Sens. Cruz, Lee and Graham Just Met with Trump’s Defense Lawyers, ‘Very Unusual’
I solemnly swear or affirm that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of , now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God.
Senate Oath Upon Sitting as Jurors
In Trump’s first impeachment trial some of us could not believe the degree of “in your face” corruption that occurred in guise of “normalcy.” In that proceeding, the jury foreman, Mitch McConnell, openly bragged that there wasn’t an inch of daylight between Trump’s position on the trial and McConnell’s. McConnell knew because he had met with Trump on the subject many times. Some of us with actual legal training really wondered how Chief Justice Roberts just sat there and took it.
While it is true that Chief Justices have mostly sat as figureheads in impeachment trials, we can’t really figure out why. It is not like there’s a long line of precedent. Until Trump’s first impeachment trial, there had been a grand total of two trials to that point. But the Constitution says specifically that there is to be a trial and that – in the case of the removal of a president, the Chief Justice shall preside. We couldn’t figure out why C. J. Roberts didn’t act like a judge and rule that trials require evidence and that the chief foreman, Mitch McConnell, would stop planning the steps of the trial with the defendant.
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And now because Roberts refused to treat the matter as a trial it’s all turned into nothing more than a somewhat abnormal Senate proceeding.
How bad is it?
Today, Trump’s lawyers were seen meeting with Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Lindsey Graham, aka “jurors.” What could they possibly have to talk about? If this ever happened in a real trial, a mistrial would be called immediately and that lawyer would not only be disbarred but could possibly face criminal charges for attempting to manipulate a juror or at least contempt of court. But since the precedent has been set that impeachment isn’t “really” a trial – as now already established under C. J. Roberts and previously under Rehnquist and Clinton – then why not meet with the jurors and check in on how it’s going? Who is going to punish them?
A meeting between Trump's lawyers and GOP senators — including Graham and Cruz — just ended. Trump lawyer David Schoen said the meeting was about "procedure."
Cruz said senators were talking about the legal "strategy for tomorrow" and where arguments are and where to go.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 11, 2021
From the American Bar Association
Rule 3.5: Impartiality & Decorum of the Tribunal
A lawyer shall not: communicate ex parte with a judge, juror, prospective juror or other official during the proceeding unless authorized to do so by law or court order;
— Sylvie Sturm (@mildobserver) February 11, 2021
Several GOP senators just met with Trump’s defense attorneys, including Cruz and Graham. Lee also spotted going in. Graham refused to talk about it after. “See you tomorrow,” he told me. Schoen told us there’s nothing inappropriate about meeting with jurors in impeachment trial
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 11, 2021
I asked Trump lawyer David Schoen if it was appropriate to meet with senators who are jurors, and he said: “I think that’s the practice of impeachment. There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 11, 2021
Senators took an oath to be impartial jurors…
…and today Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and several other Republican senators just spent an hour in private with Trump's lawyer.
A Republican's oath is worth fuck all. Q.E.D.
— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) February 11, 2021
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz — who swore to do impartial justice before Trump’s second impeachment trial — just left a meeting with Trump’s defense attorneys where they coordinated “strategy”.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) February 11, 2021
‘Guy’s let’s make sure we’re all on the same page here, gotta please the boss.” Lindsey Graham & Cruz would be in jail by now in any other country. They’re criminal co-conspirators. @LindseyGrahamSC https://t.co/S8PltQavQZ
— NoelCaslerComedy (@CaslerNoel) February 11, 2021
This is disgusting.
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak