A nine-page whistleblower complaint might have been the most-read document in Washington on Thursday — but not among Senate Republicans.
“Haven’t seen it,” said Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. Arizona Sen. Martha McSally, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo said they hadn’t read it either.
“I’ve been running around this morning,” Ohio Sen. Rob Portman apologized.
The release of the whistleblower complaint from an intelligence community official was the latest development in a chaotic few days on Capitol Hill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has opened an official impeachment inquiry into revelations that President Trump had pressed the Ukrainian president in a July call to work with his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and Attorney General William Barr on investigations, including one into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said he had started reading the document, but hadn’t finished yet. “I’d rather absorb it, as opposed to commenting on part of it,” he said.
“I’m going to today,” said Sen. Todd Young of Indiana. He said he had to preside over a Senate vote first. “It’s not because it’s unserious or I’m an unserious legislator.”
Many Senate Republicans — who wrapped up legislative business on Thursday before a two-week recess — seized the chance, at least for a moment, to sidestep a growing political morass.