Trump’s Impeachment Lawyers Accused Of Jury Tampering After Meeting With Republican Senators
Donald Trump’s lawyers have been accused of jury tampering after meeting with Republican senators amid the former president’s ongoing impeachment trial.
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah were seen entering a room used by Trump’s lawyers on Thursday evening, February 11, after the trial kicked off on Tuesday.
All three Republican senators will be among those voting in the trial to determine whether Trump should be convicted of ‘incitement of insurrection’ following the Capitol riots on January 6. If convicted, the former president could be barred from holding public office again.
A two-thirds majority is required to convict Trump in the evenly split 100-seat Senate, and while some senators see themselves as impartial jurors, others are staying true to their party’s side.
David Schoen, one of the lawyers representing the former president, claimed that the three senators were ‘very friendly guys’ who met with the legal team to make sure they were ‘familiar with procedure’ before their rebuttal to the House impeachment managers’ presentation.
When asked if it was appropriate to meet with senators during the trial, Schoen said, ‘Oh yeah, I think that’s the practice of impeachment,’ CNN reports.
He added: ‘There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever.’
Despite Schoen’s claims, some have accused the lawyers of plotting with the senators, with one Twitter user writing: ‘How is this not jury tampering.’
Other social media users suggested the senators were relaying information to the lawyers in order to help justify votes for Trump’s acquittal, with one writing: ‘Translation: “we, the jury, were telling the lawyers for the defense how to frame the case to give us political cover for siding with them” Seems tooooootalllly fine. Nothing unethical to see here.’
A third person responded: ‘That’s incredible. co-conspirators on the jury plotting with the defense attorneys… unreal.’
Cruz claimed the meeting with the legal team was an opportunity for the senators to ‘share [their] thoughts’ about legal strategy following the opening days of the trial, during which time Trump lawyer Bruce Castor faced criticism for his argument.
When asked if he’s now comfortable with the Trump team’s legal strategy, Cruz responded:
I think the end result of this impeachment trial is crystal clear to everybody. Donald Trump will be acquitted. It takes 67 votes to convict him and every person in the Senate chamber understands that there are not the votes to convict, nor should there be.
Though the trial is still ongoing, the vast majority of Republican senators have remained loyal to Trump so far by signalling they will vote to acquit him of his charges. As the Senate is evenly split, the House impeachment managers would need to persuade 17 Republican senators to convict along with every single Democrat.
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