A group of Republican senators met privately with Donald Trump’s legal team representing the former president in his impeachment trial to discuss “strategy” ahead of the defence argument on Friday.
Senators have sworn an oath to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws” during the impeachment trial.
Following Thursday’s closing arguments from House impeachment managers acting as prosecutors in the trial, Trump attorney David Schoen told reporters that his meeting with Republicans concerned “procedure” for Friday’s hearing.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said the group discussed “legal strategy” and their thoughts on the trial. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Utah’s Mike Lee also joined the meeting.
Asked by CNN’s Manu Raju whether he believed it was appropriate to meet with jurors, Mr Schoen said: “I think that’s the practice of impeachment. There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever.”
Attorneys Schoen, Bruce Castor, Michael van der Veen and William Brennan are expected to address the Senate on Friday. The defence could close its presentation within the day, according to reports.
Only six GOP senators broke from the party to vote alongside Democrats to agree to the constitutionality of the trial, which would convict a president who is no longer in office. The former president was impeached in the House of Representatives on 13 January for inciting the riot at the Capitol a week earlier.
Defence attorneys are expected to re-litigate the constitutionality of the trial and introduce videos of Black Lives Matter demonstrations they will attempt to connect to Democratic lawmakers.