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GOP senators unimpressed with Schiff team's impeachment arguments, say case is being made to call Hunter Biden as a witness


'I'm not really hearing much new information'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Instead of convincing Republicans of his case for impeaching President Donald Trump, lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is making more of a case to call Hunter Biden as a trial witness, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said Thursday.

When asked whether or not House impeachment managers were changing any minds among Senate Republicans, Lee told Blaze Media in a statement, "The only thing Schiff is convincing Republican Senators of is that if we do hear from witnesses, we absolutely must hear from Hunter Biden."

And Lee isn't alone in his belief that the House's impeachment team hasn't done that much to sway Republican opinion in the upper chamber so far.

On Wednesday, House Democrats' team of impeachment managers began giving their opening arguments in the Senate's trial, having 24 hours over a three-day period to make their case. On Thursday, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) told the Washington Times that her GOP colleagues were wondering when the House Democrats would get around to showing them the "overwhelming evidence" they supposedly had.

"It's like it is on repeat," Ersnt told the newspaper. "I keep hearing the same message coming from the House members and I am still waiting to hear their overwhelming evidence."

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) concurred with Ernst in the same story, saying, "I'm looking for a bombshell, I just haven't heard it."

When asked about whether or not the House managers arguments were changing any minds, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) had a similar response to Ernst's and Scott's.

"I can't speak for anybody else but I'm not really hearing much new information," Johnson told a small group of reporters in the basement of the Capitol Building. "There's a little bit more detail, but not a lot of new information."

When asked about Schiff's ability to sell an impeachment message to Republicans in particular, Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said that he might possible be able to convince some on questions of process — i.e., whether or not witnesses needed to be called later — but that Schiff's partisan image might get in the way of him being able to do much else in that regard.

"I think Adam Schiff would be part and parcel of the group that has been so traumatized by President Trump making it through in '16 and clearly that's what motivates him," Braun said.

In somewhat of a contrast to his colleagues' critiques, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said at a Thursday news conference that he thought that the impeachment managers had done "a good job of taking bits and pieces of the evidence and creating a quilt of it."

He cautioned, however, that "the other side gets to talk and see if they can pull a thread here and pull a thread there and see if it holds up."

Over on the other side of the aisle, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) took issue with Republicans' criticisms about not hearing new information during the arguments, saying that they could have voted with Democrats earlier in the week on resolutions to ensure new witnesses and documents to be brought into the trial as evidence.

"If they want new stuff," Schumer contended, "there's plenty of it."

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