Utah Sen. Mike Lee is not only going to the convention — he is serving as a delegate on the powerful Rules Committee, along with his wife. As one of the 112-member committee, Lee will play a role in drafting the rules for the convention. Meanwhile, an effort is underway to strip delegates of binding and allow them to vote for whomever they choose on the floor, and Lee could determine whether or not that movement gets a chance to get a vote on the floor of the convention.
Randy Evans, an RNC committeeman from Georgia and Rules Committee delegate and lawyer who has worked with the RNC and Trump campaign, has compiled a list tracking delegate leanings at the convention. He estimates that right now, the delegate unbinding effort has about 18 members of the Rules Committee behind it — far short of the 28 needed to get a minority report that merits an up-or-down vote on the convention floor.
But he expects that Lee, who has thus far declined to publicly commit on the movement, could play game-changer as one of the highest-profile members of the committee.
“I think if Sen. Lee stands up in the Rules Committee and says, ‘In the interest of transparency I think the delegates should get their choice,’ I think they get their 28,” Evans said.