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Graham, Cruz And Lee ‘Working Hand In Glove’ With Trump Defense Team

Sens. Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are not even pretending to look like impartial jurors in the Trump impeachment trial. They told reporters today that they are actively working with the Trump defense team and other senators to ensure Trump’s acquittal.
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Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are not even pretending to look like impartial jurors in the Trump impeachment trial. They told reporters today that they are actively working with the Trump defense team and other senators to ensure Trump’s acquittal.

NBC News’ Garrett Haake had details for Joy Reid Thursday evening.

HAAKE: Senators Graham, Cruz and Lee met with the Trump defense team for quite a while after the arguments had wrapped up today to discuss legal strategy for tomorrow. Senator Cruz came out afterwards and told reporters - I mean, this is not something they're hiding - again, they're working hand in glove with the Trump defense team and some of his most closely aligned senators to come up with an argument that will allow their fellow Republicans, enough of them anyway, to vote to acquit.

However, Haake did hint that not all Republican senators are in on the pact. Because while they seem to be fine with Trump betraying his constitutional oath and trying to overturn an election, the fact that he didn't care when they were in danger is a whole ‘nother thing.

HAAKE: So expect to hear a lot tomorrow about constitutionality, expect to hear these Trump defense attorneys argue that the managers didn't clear this high bar that they believe there is to prove incitement.

And if they’re listening to their fellow colleagues, the one thing that these Trump defense attorneys are going to have to address, because Republican senators are asking about it - and this could be an Achilles heel for the president, is what did the president know and what was he doing when the attack took place? The testimony, the presentation around that question today was very powerful to a number of these Republican senators just as it was, by the way, in the House impeachment vote.

A lot of House Republicans who voted to impeach the president said that was the source of their anger. And the Trump defense attorneys are ultimately going to face questions about that because that is the kind of thing that a lot of these republicans or not a lot, but perhaps some could turn their votes because the idea that the president sort of left them for dead is not something they can stomach.

Ed. Note: The senators who voted against the resolution to set the impeachment trial rules were: Cruz, Haggerty, Hawley, Johnson, Lee, Marshall, Paul, Rubio, Scott (Tim), Scott (Rick) and Tuberville. 89 Senators voted for it. There's no reason to think there aren't 17 Republicans who will vote for impeachment and removal. It's just that the most vocal ones are also the ones cheating to help the defense craft arguments to sell their colleagues. -- Karoli

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