A group of GOP senators met with former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer House Republican to challenge DeWine for Ohio gubernatorial nomination GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot Overnight Defense: Austin directs classified initiatives to counter China | Biden emphasizes alliances in speech to troops | Lockdown lifted at Texas base after reported shooting MORE‘s legal team on Thursday to discuss strategy as they prepare to present their opening arguments in the impeachment trial.

Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden detours on infrastructure ahead of June vote Texas governor signs bills to improve power grid after deadly winter storm MORE (Texas), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot Matt Stoller says cheerleading industry shows why antitrust laws are ‘insufficient’ Senate chaos: Johnson delays exit as votes pushed to Friday MORE (R-Utah) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTim Scott: Could be ‘very hard’ to reach police reform deal by June deadline On The Money: Biden ends infrastructure talks with Capito, pivots to bipartisan group | Some US billionaires had years where they paid no taxes: report | IRS to investigate leak Graham says family members aren’t working due to unemployment benefits MORE (R-S.C.) were spotted entering the meeting, which took place in a room near the Senate chamber that Trump’s team is using as a workspace.

Cruz told reporters after the meeting that they were talking strategy for the defense’s opening arguments on Friday.

“We were discussing their legal strategy and sharing our thoughts,” Cruz said.

Asked to elaborate, Cruz added that they were talking “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 added.

Cruz also defended the meeting on Twitter, arguing that senators aren’t jurors and that “Schumer repeatedly confers w/ House managers, as always & fully appropriate.” 

Graham didn’t comment to reporters on the meeting as he left. A spokesperson for Lee said that Trump’s team invited the GOP senators, so they met with them.

The meeting comes after Trump’s team was panned by GOP senators Tuesday as the defense argued that the trial was unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president. 

Asked about meeting with GOP senators who are jurors, David Schoen, a member of Trump’s legal team, defended the decision.

“That’s the practice here with impeachment. There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever,” he said.

He added that the senators were “friendly guys,” and “just talking about procedure, making sure we’re familiar with the procedure.”

“It was a very nice thing to make us feel welcome here,” Schoen said.

Schoen also said the senators did not give any indication of what questions they would ask during a question-and-answer session that could start as soon as Friday, once opening arguments wrap up.

Though the Senate resolution governing the impeachment trial gives them two days, Schoen, a member of Trump’s defense team, indicated that they could use three to four hours. Like other senators, he has said he thought the trial could wrap Saturday, days ahead of what was initially expected.

Schoen added that he did not talk with the former president during the meeting with GOP senators, however, he told reporters that he had spoken with Trump and described him as “very upbeat.”





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