Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., continued to strongly support President Donald Trump on Monday in the midst of the Senate’s impeachment trial.
“We’re going to get through this trial, the president’s going to be vindicated because he came here to shake up the system, the agenda is working, and we’ll go on and we’re not going to overturn one election and prevent another,” Braun said at a Capitol Hill news conference broadcast by C-SPAN.
His comments came before Trump’s legal team resumed presenting its defense against allegations by House Democrats that Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress. Trump is accused of urging Ukraine to investigate a political rival and then refusing to release related documents to the House.
Braun said he was not swayed by a New York Times story on Sunday reporting that former national security adviser John Bolton will claim in a forthcoming book that Trump wanted to freeze U.S. military aid to Ukraine unless it agreed to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a Democratic candidate for president.
Braun said “there was no pressure, there was no investigation.” He later told reporters: “The aid was released, they had the meeting, there was not an investigation” and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “said there was no pressure.”
He did say the report on Bolton “may move the needle in one direction or another” as to whether the Republican-controlled Senate will vote in favor of hearing additional testimony and evidence. Bolton has said he would be willing to testify at Trump’s Senate trial.
“I’m not going to deny it’s going to change the decibel level and probably the intensity at which we go about talking about witnesses” later this week, Braun said.
He said voting for or against calling witnesses to testify “comes down to each senator having to make that decision. You’re going to have to weigh your conscience and what the people back home want you to do.”
Braun was joined at the news conference by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
“To me the facts of the case remain the same,” Barrasso said about the New York Times report. “There is nothing new here to what the House (impeachment) managers have been saying.”