Jan 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republicans take a "deep breath" on impeachment trial after Bolton report

Photo: Senate Television via Getty Images

Despite the Bolton hullabaloo, the floodgates still aren't open on the Trump impeachment trial.

Why it matters: There won't be a witness vote for at least another few days, putting an edge on the proceedings but hardly shutting them down.

  • Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told reporters the Senate will have a vote on witnesses on Friday.

The big picture: There’s a growing sense on the Hill that the White House has a lot of cleanup to do to keep Republicans in line on witnesses, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

  • Most Senate Republicans are still waiting to hear the White House’s arguments, and have an opportunity to ask questions, before committing to anything.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senators today to "take a deep breath and let’s take one step at a time.”
  • Sen. Mitt Romney: "I think it's increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton."

Speaking of John Bolton: The former national security adviser denied that he, his publisher or his literary agent coordinated with the N.Y. Times.

  • "Any assertion to the contrary is unfounded speculation."

Between the lines: Trump's team is working to portray Democrats' arguments on the Senate floor as a slanted picture of reality and not the whole truth, Alayna notes.

  • That includes making a point to frequently say "the House managers didn't tell you that" or "they didn't mention this."
  • A senior Democratic staffer responded by saying "they are cherry-picking the evidence. We aren’t cherry-picking the evidence.”

Inside the chamber: Sen. Bernie Sanders looked particularly frustrated that he's stuck in the Senate rather than on the trail, just a week before the Iowa caucuses.

  • He was staring straight ahead during presentations, not moving his gaze even for video clips, and was fidgety and slouched low in his seat.
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