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GOP Senators Initially Cancelled Scheduled Presser, Seemingly Due to John Bolton News (UPDATE)

Update, 10:57 a.m.: Although initially cancelled, there will be a press conference after all, but most of the Senators who were supposed to be there will not participate. Sen. Graham is one of the lawmakers who will not be there. Reportedly, Sens. Lankford and Lee will also be absent.

Here’s what that presser ended up looking like.

Late on Sunday, news broke about what John Bolton’s forthcoming book supposedly says about the Ukraine Affair: that the president himself allegedly told his former National Security Advisor the military aid hold was directly linked to investigations of the Bidens.

The reaction to this was predictably rapid, and the general consensus was that this is a game-changer for the impeachment trial. The thinking there is that the heat has significantly been turned up on Republican Senators to vote in favor of calling witnesses. No matter what anyone tells you, that is still very much in doubt. In the meanwhile, however, it appears that GOP Senators are struggling with the immediate fallout.

Senators Mike Braun (R-Indiana), John Barasso (R-Wyo.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have cancelled a scheduled Monday morning press conference, seemingly to avoid questions about John Bolton’s book. That presser was supposed to be impeachment-related. Republican Senators were reportedly “blindsided” by the Bolton manuscript revelation.

The usual suspects [i.e. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah)] are already saying that Bolton’s testimony is now “important” and “relevant.”

We shall see how or if President Donald Trump’s lawyers respond to the latest development. They will have another chance on Monday afternoon in the Senate chamber to respond at length to the allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against the president.

[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.