I will reiterate what I have said many times before. The Party of Trump is a criminal enterprise led by a third-rate mafia “Don” Trump. They are all accomplices, coconspirators and accessories who aid and abet his criminality and corruption. There is not a patriot among them. They put fealty to their “Dear Leader” above all else, including loyalty to their country and our national security, and their oaths of office to defend the Constitution. They reject the rule of law and are amoral. It is a betrayal of the faith of the American people in our constitutional government.

To wit: GQP Senators who took an oath to be impartial jurors in this impeachment trial are colluding with, i.e., conspiring with Donald Trump’s defense lawyers. The jury is rigged with corrupt Republicans. In a criminal trial in court this would lead to the jurors and lawyers being charged with a crime. The jurors would also immediately be removed from the jury panel.

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It is not clear to me that Democrats can move to strike jurors like Sens. Hawley, Cruz, Graham and Lee from the jury panel for their role as coconspirators or accessories or for aiding and abetting Trump’s crime of insurrection during an impeachment trial. They may also have legislative immunity from criminal prosecution for jury tampering. That is why they are being so cavalier about their obviously improper conduct. They may still be subject to disciplinary action from their respective bar organizations. They should be disbarred.

CNN reports, Three GOP senators meet with Trump’s lawyers on eve of impeachment defense presentation:

A trio of Republican senators allied with former President Donald Trump met with his defense team Thursday evening, in the middle of an impeachment trial in which they will vote on whether to convict Trump and potentially bar him from holding public office again.

Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah were spotted going into a room in the US Capitol that Trump’s lawyers were using to prepare for their arguments.

Trump lawyer David Schoen said that the senators were “very friendly guys” who just wanted to make sure they were “familiar with procedure” on the eve of their rebuttal to the House impeachment managers’ presentation.

When asked if it’s appropriate to meet with senators during the trial, Schoen said, “Oh yeah, I think that’s the practice of impeachment.”

Schoen is wrong. This is a guy who regularly represents mafia bosses. What does he know about right from wrong?

“There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever,” he added.

His client has received all the due process he is entitled to in an impeachment hearing. This is typical whiny ass defense lawyer bullshit.

Some senators view themselves as impartial jurors during impeachment trials, while others lend a hand to their party’s side.

Republican senators have already signaled that they will vote to acquit the former President of the charge of “incitement of insurrection,” preventing a subsequent vote on Trump’s political future. In a 50-50 Senate, the House impeachment managers — all of whom are Democrats — need to persuade 17 Republican senators to join every member of their party to convict Trump.

A Censure Resolution pursuant to section 3 of the 14th Amendment can disqualify Trump from public office, and it only requires a simple majority vote.

Cruz said the meeting with the Trump defense team was an opportunity for “sharing our thoughts” about their legal strategy. [For those of you who have served on jury duty, you know just how improper this is.] A wide array of Senate Republicans harshly criticized the defense team on Tuesday, the opening day of the trial, arguing that Trump attorney Bruce Castor had delivered a rambling and unfocused argument in making the case that the proceedings are unconstitutional.

Remember, Sen. Cruz volunteered to argue the bogus lawsuit filed in Texas to invalidate the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ted Cruz Offers to Argue Insane Texas Election Lawsuit at the Supreme Court. The Court rejected the case. Ted Cruz was the Senate sponsor of Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar to object to the counting of Arizona’s electoral votes, even after the violent insurrection on January 6. Ted Cruz is as corrupt as they come.

When asked if he’s now comfortable with the Trump team’s legal strategy, Cruz said, “I think the end result of this impeachment trial is crystal clear to everybody.”

“Donald Trump will be acquitted,” he added. “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.”

Business Insider adds, 3 GOP senators met with Trump’s lawyers the day before their planned impeachment defense presentation:

The meeting took place in the US Capitol in a room where the Trump team was preparing their defense, CNN reported.

When asked about meeting with each other, the lawyers and at least one senator gave conflicting accounts about the substance of the discussion.

David Schoen, one of Trump’s attorneys, said the senators were trying to ensure they were “familiar with procedure,” CNN reported. However, Cruz said they were discussing the legal team’s arguments and providing feedback.

“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 told reporters Thursday.

He also said that while he thinks the verdict is already clear and that Trump will be acquitted, he wanted to make sure the former president had the best possible defense.

That would be to plead guilty to a lesser included offense.

“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,” Cruz said.

While the Senate effectively acts as a jury during an impeachment trial, Cruz, Graham, and Lee are effectively acting as unofficial defense counsel on Trump’s defense team. It should be glaringly obvious to anyone just how improper this is.

More:

Haake reported:

Just another way in which this is not like a normal trial. 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. Sen. Cruz came out afterwards and told reporters – I mean, this is not something they’re hiding. Again, they’re working hand in glove, 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. So expect to hear again 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 and 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.

Yahoo News adds, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Mike Lee met with Trump’s defense team:

After the House impeachment managers finished presenting their arguments against former President Donald Trump, three of his staunchest Republican supporters in the Senate — Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Ted Cruz (Texas) — conferred with Trump’s attorneys, who will present their defense on Friday.

Trump lawyer David Schoen told reporters on Thursday evening they discussed “how this format goes, you know, the question-and-answer period, all that.” Graham, Lee, and Cruz are “friendly guys,” Schoen said, and after they chatted “about procedure,” the conversation moved on to “where they’re from and all that … I said to them it was a great honor to have the opportunity to talk to them.” He denied that they told him questions they planned on asking.

Graham declined to commen on the conversation, while Cruz told CNN, “We were discussing their legal strategy and sharing our thoughts.”

Ted Cruz, of course,  went on Trump TV to brag about it, as if it was all perfectly acceptable. Cruz says there ‘no chance’ Trump is convicted after meeting with his legal team about strategy:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told Fox News on Thursday that there is no chance that former President Trump will be convicted for inciting last month’s riot at the Capitol, but laid out how he believes Trump’s legal team should present their argument.

The House impeachment managers closed their case on Thursday and tried to tie the former president to the deadly assault in Washington, D.C. Cruz, who insisted that those who broke into the building should face the fullest extent of the law, said Democrats somehow tried to invent “a new standard” for an incitement charge. He said he held about an hour-long huddle with Trump’s lawyers and was joined by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee.

He said they talked about the case. He said he recommended that they point to the rhetoric used by the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and compare it to Trump’s speech on Jan. 6, when Trump said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

In other words, forget trying this case on the merits, because they have no defense on the merits. Instead, use deflection and “whataboutism” immaterial and irrelevant “evidence.” (No Democrat has encouraged or engaged in sedition and insurrection against the government. That’s all on Donald Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress). Muddy the waters with “Democrat hatred” for Fox Nation viewers, the only viewers these corrupt Republican senators care about.

The prosecutors argued that Trump’s words were part of “the big lie” — his relentless efforts to sow doubts about the election results, revving up his followers to “stop the steal” even though there was no evidence of substantial fraud.

Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told “Hannity” on Wednesday that the Democrat argument fell short and he believes Democrats had even less support than they did earlier in the week.

“The whole storyline, originally, was Trump created this with his speech,” Graham said. “Now we know that people had this on their mind before he spoke. So now they’re playing this bizarre game of trying to get Trump in on it before Jan. 6…This is why you don’t want to have snap impeachments.”

This, of course, is a complete mischaracterization of the prosecution’s case. Anyone who has been watching this impeachment trial on television (not on Fox, because they cut away for other bullshit) knows that the prosecution laid out a pattern and practice of Trump encouraging violence from his MAGA cult followers going back to 2015. The prosecution’s case was not limited to one speech on January 6 as Sen. Graham would have people believe. As always, Lindsey Graham is full of shit.

Reminder: The Georgia Secretary of State Says Lindsey Graham Suggested He Find a Way to Toss Out Select Ballots, and Lindsey Graham’s Alleged Attempt to Toss Georgia Ballots Is Felony Election Fraud, and Former U.S. Attorney Asks Georgia to Investigate Lindsey Graham for Potential Election Crimes. Lindsey Graham is as corrupt as they come.

Yahoo News continues:

Graham, Lee, and Cruz are jurors in the Senate trial, and while they are supposed to be impartial, they have already made it clear they won’t vote to convict Trump on charges of inciting an insurrection. During Trump’s first Senate impeachment trial, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) admitted he was “going to coordinate with the president’s lawyers,” adding that “there is no chance the president is going to be removed from office.”

Corrupt Republican senators are openly and shamelessly engaged in the crime of jury tampering:

Jury tampering refers to improper communications with a juror with the purpose of influencing the juror’s deliberative process via private communication or contact regarding matters directly related to the case being tried. Examples of jury tampering may include providing outside information to a juror and bribing, threating or intimidating a juror to influence the verdict. Both lawyers and jurors themselves can be involved in jury tampering.

Jury tampering is not only an ethical infraction, but a criminal offense. Depending on states, jury tampering can be a felony offense or a misdemeanor. Penalties for jury tampering may also vary from states to states. In New York, for example, bribing a juror is a class D felony and is subject to a maximum of seven years of imprisonment.

The law of jury tampering is to ensure a party’s constitutional right to a trial before an impartial jury. The Supreme Court in Remmer v. United States held that jury tampering in criminal cases are presumptively prejudicial, meaning that the party faced with allegations of jury tampering bears the burden to prove that there is no reasonable possibility that the tampering affected the impartiality of the jury.

The impeachment  jury is rigged with corrupt Republicans. While a majority of the Senate will vote to convict Donald Trump, a tyranny of the minority of corrupt Republican senators who are part of Trump’s criminal enterprise are sitting on the jury, and will prevent the Senate from reaching to the two-thirds majority vote necessary to convict.

Those Republicans who vote to acquit an obviously guilty Donald Trump – jury nullification – need to be held accountable and removed from office ASAP.

UPDATE: The Senate rules on impeachment trials require members to take this oath: “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of ____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”




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