Ahead of second day of the president's impeachment defense presentation, Republican and Democratic senators offered very different reactions to a bombshell New York Times report that ex-National Security Advisor John Bolton has written in a manuscript that President Donald Trump told him that he froze aid to Ukraine over demands for investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President and 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden.
At separate press conferences on Monday, Republicans said nothing has changed, but Democrats called the new information "stunning."
Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said the weekend reporting, "really doesn't change anything." Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming said, "the facts of the case remain the same."
Before the GOP members spoke, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York alleged that if the Senate Republicans are "not going to vote to call Mr. Bolton and Mr. [Mick] Mulvaney, they would be part of a coverup."
"We're all staring a White House coverup in the face," Schumer said, flanked by Democratic SenatorsTammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Ben Cardin of Maryland. "This is stunning."
Schumer said Bolton's allegation "essentially confirms" the first impeachment article of abuse of power against the president.
Asked if he would support a subpoena to get John Bolton's manuscript, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham reportedly told reporters Monday, "I want to know what's in the manuscript, yeah, I think that's important." Senators Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) also indicated they would consider voting to hear from witnesses.