GOP senators too busy, unwilling to view impeachment hearing

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Millions of Americans are expected to watch on live TV Wednesday as the House kicks off public hearings on whether to impeach President Donald Trump. Just don't expect many Republican senators to be among them, if a quick sampling of them is to be believed.

Of eight Senate Republicans questioned Tuesday evening, seven said they wouldn't watch Wednesday's start of the Democratic-led process or suggested it wasn't a priority.

"Tomorrow I'm going to be paying attention to what we're doing in the Senate," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said he'd be chairing an Environment and Public Works Committee session. He invited reporters to attend - an offer that even on a slow day on Capitol Hill would likely garner few takers.

"I'll be doing something else," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., an ardent Trump ally. Graham said he didn't want to legitimize a process that he twice called "bulls---" because it was an unfair effort by Democrats aimed at weakening Trump.

Of course, skeptics might say it was possible senators might privately sneak peeks, at least, of the hearing while claiming they'd not watched. That assertion could let them avoid answering reporters' questions about the day's developments.

Yet even Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the GOP senator who's seemed most open to considering impeachment, said he'd not be watching. He said he'd focus on it when, if it seems likely, the Senate holds a trial on whether to remove Trump, when the charges can be "weighed in a balanced manner."

Among other Republican senators, Texas' John Cornyn said he didn't need to "waste time going through all the drama over there" in the House. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he didn't have time on his schedule to watch while Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, doubted he'd view the "partisan circus."

Only Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she'd "probably watch some of it."

"I'll see what America's going to see," she said.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."