Just a couple of days into opening arguments, the Senate's impeachment trial is already impacting the presidential campaign trail, as shown by CNN's announcement that it would cancel town hall events for Democratic presidential candidates because of it.
In a story published Thursday afternoon, a CNN spokesperson said the network is working to reschedule the events.
CNN was scheduled to host the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination at live, back-to-back town halls on January 28 and 29 from the campus of Drake University. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, businessman Andrew Yang and businessman Tom Steyer were scheduled to appear on Tuesday. The next night, former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar were set to appear.
The events were originally scheduled before the Iowa caucuses, which will take place Feb. 3.
Rather than talking with voters and making their case for why they should be president in Iowa this week, Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) — who is still holding out on his longshot bid for president — have been in Washington, D.C., taking part in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, having to sit silently in the chamber for hours on end while drinking nothing but water or milk.
And the CNN events aren't the only ones that have been preempted by candidates' senatorial duties amid the trial; The Hill pointed out that the Sanders campaign canceled a rally scheduled for Wednesday as a result of the proceedings.
"Sen. Sanders will not be able to attend tomorrow's rally due to the impeachment schedule in the U.S. Senate," a campaign statement said. "However, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) will host campaign events in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Ames on Friday and Saturday."
After trial proceedings wrapped up Wednesday night, Klobuchar still made an effort to campaign over the phone, holding a tele town hall with Iowa voters while her daughter campaigned in the state.