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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

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
53 mins ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

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