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Sen. Susan Collins: Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. Sen. Chuck Schumer: Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images.

As pressure grows on senators to take a stance on impeachment, both Republicans and Democrats have argued that their positions as potential jurors in the case against President Trump precludes them from commenting.

The big picture: Trial jurors in traditional criminal cases are not permitted to speak about a case outside of the courtroom. But while the Senate would technically be holding a "trial" against the president in the likely scenario that the House votes to impeach, the trial — which is a political proceeding — would not be held to the same standards as a criminal case.

What they're saying: The Washington Post's Robert Costa and Philip Rucker note that senators are increasingly abstaining from comment as more revelations emerge from the impeachment inquiry.

  • Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho): “I’m a juror and I’m comfortable not speaking."
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.): "I’d be a juror, so I have no comment."
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.): “I don’t need a strategy for impeachment because I may be a juror someday."
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine): "I am very likely to be a juror so to make a predetermined decision on whether or not to convict a president of the United States does not fulfill one’s constitutional responsibilities."

But, but, but: Republicans aren't alone. In an interview with Politico, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, "We're jurors," before adding: "We can push as hard as we can to get all the facts out but … we should wait until we see all the facts to make a determination."

  • “There are senators on both sides of the aisle who have said things that are highly partisan," said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). "And have talked about this as a political endeavor rather than ... to approach it as our job which is a potential jurist."

Between the lines: Not everyone agrees with the argument that being a juror prevents senators from speaking out about Trump's alleged abuses.

  • “We’re not in a jury trial in the classic criminal sense. It is a political proceeding and we shirk our duty to the nation if we fail to talk," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said.
  • “I don’t think we should shirk our responsibilities as senators ... just because one day we might be a juror,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said.

Go deeper: How an impeachment inquiry works

Go deeper

Dead malls get new life

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Malls are becoming ghosts of retail past. But the left-behind real estate is being reimagined for a post-pandemic world.

Why it matters: As many as 17% of malls in the U.S. "may no longer be viable as shopping centers and need to be redeveloped into other uses," per Barclays.

White House now says Biden will move to increase refugee cap by May 15

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House on Friday afternoon said President Biden plans to lift the Trump-era refugee cap by May 15.

Driving the news: The announcement follows stinging criticism from several Democrats and rights groups, who said Biden was walking back on his pledge to raise the limit. Earlier Friday, Biden signed a directive to speed up the processing of refugees, but kept the Trump administration's historically low cap of 15,000 refugees for this year.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Suspect in FedEx shooting identified as 19-year-old former employee Brandon Hole

Crime scene investigators walk through the FedEx parking lot in Indianapolis the day after a mass shooting left nine dead, including the gunman, who took his own life. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images.

The suspected gunman who killed at least eight people and wounded several others in Indianapolis before killing himself has been identified by local police as 19-year-old Brandon Hole, a former FedEx employee, a company spokesperson told the AP.

The latest: At least 100 people were in the FedEx warehouse at the time of the shooting, authorities said Friday. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief Craig McCartt told reporters that Hole worked at FedEx through 2020. He did not specify the circumstances of Hole’s departure.

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