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Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the upcoming Senate impeachment trial is "not a trial in any classic sense," noting that there are senators running for the Democratic presidential nomination and that every member has "obvious" political considerations.

"This is called a trial because there's really, in the Constitution, I think no better thing to call it. But it's a very political process. Five of the so-called jurors, running for president. Not a single Republican in the House convinced that they should vote for either of the articles of impeachment, and a couple of Democrats convinced that they shouldn't vote for the articles of impeachment. ... It's not a trial in any classic sense. It is a political decision to do it. And at the end of the day, every single member of the Senate has considerations that are pretty obvious."

Why it matters: Senators must take an oath to do "impartial justice" before being sworn in for an impeachment trial. Several Republican senators have used the impartiality requirement as an excuse not to discuss impeachment prior to the House vote on Wednesday, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have been open about their intentions to acquit Trump as quickly as possible.

The big picture: A speedy Senate trial is expected to play out after the New Year. McConnell is working in close coordination with the White House and does not plan to call any witnesses.

  • Impeachment votes in the House Wednesday fell largely along party lines, with only a handful of Democratic defections.
  • The Senate is expected to acquit Trump, but Democratic leaders are pressuring McConnell to hold a "fair" trial by calling witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
  • Blunt told CNN that based on what he knows, he does not believe House Democrats made the case for removing Trump from office.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82

Photo: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bernie Madoff, a former investor sentenced to 150 years in prison for perpetrating the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, died Wednesday at age 82, AP reports.

The big picture: Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 to a multibillion-dollar scheme that investigators said began in the 1970s and defrauded as many as 37,000 people in 136 countries — including high-profile victims like Steven Spielberg, former New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and actor Kevin Bacon, according to CNBC.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - World

John Kerry and China's long road ahead on climate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Brian Snyder/AFP via Getty Images

Yes, special climate envoy John Kerry's really in China and no, don't look for a huge breakthrough between the world's two largest carbon-emitting nations.

Driving the news: The State Department yesterday announced Kerry's visit this week, confirming plans that began emerging Saturday.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Coinbase president Emilie Choi on mainstreaming crypto

Coinbase plans to go public on Wednesday, in a watershed moment for the cryptocurrency industry.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Coinbase president and COO Emilie Choi about how she thinks about crypto, why Coinbase eschewed a traditional IPO and if we’re ever going to use bitcoin to buy a cup of coffee.