Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) lambasted the liberal media coverage over a meeting he and two other GOP Senators had with former President Donald Trump’s legal team, refuting their claims and for “falsely ignored the facts,” that includes top Democrats doing the same thing by “confers with House managers.”
On Thursday night, Cruz along with Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Mike Lee of Utah met with Trump’s attorney as they were preparing to present their opening arguments on Friday to provide legal and strategic advice. It was reported by CNN the trio “were spotted going into a room that Trump’s lawyers were using,” claiming in a tweet sharing the article that the “three Republican Senators” are also “jurors” in the impeachment trial.
The Texas Senator told reporters after the meeting that they “were discussing their legal strategy and sharing our thoughts,” adding the talks were “in terms of where the argument was and where to go.”
“I think their job is to make clear how the House managers have not carried their burden of proof. They have not demonstrated that the president’s conduct satisfies the legal standard of high crimes and misdemeanors,” Cruz said.
David Schoen, one of Trump’s attorneys, said the GOP senators wanted to make sure they were “familiar with the procedure.”
“Oh yeah, I think that the practice of impeachment. There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever,” Schoen told reporters when asked if he thinks it is appropriate to have met with the three senators.
Following the meeting, liberal pundits and lawmakers repeatedly proclaimed that senators are “impartial jurors” in the impeachment trial while asserting impropriety.
“I’m no lawyer, but I’m fairly certain jurors aren’t supposed to strategize with defense counsel in the middle of a trial,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) tweeted.
“They’re supposed to be jurors,” Daily Beast editor-at-large and Lincoln Project adviser, Molly Jong-Fast quote-tweeted with CNN chyron reading, “Key GOP Senators, who are also trial jurors, meet privately with Trump’s lawyers.”
A CNN Congressional reporter brought the issue on Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room Thursday evening, falsely reporting the GOP senators “also serving as jurors were seen going into a private room with members of Trump’s defense team.” However, the meeting was not held in a “private room,” as CNN distortedly reported. In fact, the meeting was held across the Senate chambers at the LBJ Room as the arrival of the GOP Senators was seen in footage shown during the impeachment breaks of the Senate Gallery hallway.
Another CNN journalist, National Correspondent John King followed up on his colleagues’ falsified coverage to note, “You have Lindsey Graham and other Republicans actually in plotting strategy with Trump’s lawyers. They are supposed to be impartial jurors. Tells you everything you need to know.”
During the Senate Q&A portion shortly after Trump’s defense ended their opening arguments, King tweeted that one of the former president’s attorneys, “finally has detailed answer and reads from notes,” and insinuated that Cruz gave the team his question beforehand and what to say in response.
“Note on Sen. Cruz Q van der Deen finally has detailed answser and reads from notes. Cruz has met svl times w Trump defense team,” King tweeted.
A follower called out King for being “dishonest,” informing the CNN reporter the facts that this impeachment trial is a political process, therefore they are “Senators and not Jurors.” Being slapped with the correct facts including “Democrats are also speaking to House manager,” King is suggesting that there is nothing wrong with questions on “both sides are shared [and ] coordinated,” despite less than 24 hours prior he told views that GOP is plotting and suppose to be impartial.
After the countless false and twisted reporting of the Texas Senator from CNN, Cruz slammed the “Dem propagandist” who he said are no longer a credible “news organization,” due to its factless and one-sided coverage.
When asked Friday evening about baseless reporting over a meeting he had with Trump’s attorneys, Cruz brushed it off, calling their attacks as “so ill-informed.”
“What is a little bit surprising is that their attacks are so ill-informed. The central complaint they’re raising is that senators are jurors and so not allowed to speak with counsel and that just happens to be factually and legally incorrect,” Cruz said, citing Democratic Senator Tom Harkin objection in senators being referred to as jurors during former President Bill Clinton impeachment trial.
“When I was a law clerk of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Rehnquist was presiding and he ruled in Senator Harkins favor and said, ‘you are correct under the Constitution, Senators are not jurors. In fact, the role of senators in an impeachment trial — we do play the role of jurors, we also play the role of judges, we make legal determinations. But beyond that, the framers knew what they were doing when they assigned the sole power of impeachment to the House and the sole power to try the impeachment to the Senate.”
The former Texas Solicitor General in an interview said the meeting with the defense team was focused on legal strategy, regarding opening arguments in pointing out how House managers failed to explain the president’s conduct of Jan. 6 contents with the “legal standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
“I think their job is to make clear how the house managers have not carried their burden of proof. They have not demonstrated that the president’s conduct satisfies the legal standard of high crimes and misdemeanors,” Cruz said. “And any standard that is put forth — and certainly any standard the House managers have tried to put forth — on its face, would equally condemn multiple comments from multiple Democrats, whether it is Nancy Pelosi calling police officers stormtroopers or Nazis.”
Cruz had already signaled that he will vote to acquit Trump of the impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection,” saying the article fails to meet “legal standard” for incitement and called the whole process a “rushed act of partisan retribution” without “providing due process or introducing evidence.”
Democrats need to flip 17 GOP Senators to join every member of their party to reach the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump. With enough Republicans already indicating that won‘t vote to convict the former president due to procedural concerns, the question remains to see how many of those GOP members willing to vote for conviction.