MSNBC reporter Garrett Haake claimed that some Republican senators may vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial because they can’t “stomach” that he “left them for dead” in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Haake appeared Thursday on “The ReidOut” and was asked by host Joy Reid if it was true that some Republican senators met with Trump’s defense team amid the impeachment trial, which she pointed out “is something jurors don’t normally do.” (RELATED: ‘Do Your Damn Job!’: Chris Cuomo Tells Ted Cruz To Get ‘Off Trump’s Teat’)
“That’s right. Yeah. 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,” Haake responded. “Senator 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 the most closely aligned senators, to come up with an argument that will allow their fellow Republicans, enough of them anyway, to vote to acquit.”
A majority of Republican senators believe the trial to be unconstitutional on the grounds that Trump is no longer in office and therefore can’t be convicted and removed from office. Only 6 Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to affirm that the trial was constitutional on the opening day of the trial. This falls well short of the 67 total votes needed to convict Trump, leading to the expectation that he will be acquitted.
The Trump defense team will begin their arguments on Friday and have said they will likely only need one day to complete them.
Haake went on to describe what the defense might say tomorrow during their arguments, but noted that they will have to address questions from Republican senators on what the president knew about the riot and what he was “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,” Haake continued. “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.”