Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

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."

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."