The House of Representatives tonight will vote on two articles of impeachment against President Trump in what is expected to be a mostly party-line vote on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. The debate began at 9 a.m. ET and lasted throughout the day into the night.
Fox News Radio’s Guy Benson sat down with Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) to get his reaction of the day.
Guy: A brand new hour on a significant day here in Washington, D.C., it’s the Guy Benson’s show. I’m Guy Benson and we are live special coverage ongoing of the impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives just about 20 seconds ago. Adam Schiff. Yielded the floor, he had given a lengthy speech in favor of impeachment based on his view of the evidence. Much of which was reviewed in the House Intelligence Committee hearings that almost feel like a distant memory already in some ways. And now it’s the Republican side of the aisle having their say, we are monitoring that. We know that the tick tock is as follows. The debate will continue for several more hours, culminating in two votes, one on each article of impeachment, probably in the 8 to 9 p.m. Eastern time frame. That’s what we have been led to believe based on the timeline and the rules that have been adopted earlier today. And we know that Nancy Pelosi has the votes in the House for impeachment on both counts, which means that things will shift to the Senate. And so it’s rather convenient and helpful and hopefully constructive that we have a senator who will be one of the jurors in the trial. Joining us right now, it is Senator Mike Braun, a Republican of Indiana. Senator, welcome back to the show.
Sen.Braun: Hey, good to be with you.
Guy: Merry Christmas. I know it’s weird on impeachment day to be talking about Merry Christmas, but we can we can walk and chew gum at the same time in wishing the whole audience a happy holidays. I want to ask you, Senator, as you watch these debates going on today on the House floor, as you have looked at the evidence thus far from the public hearings, you are going to be asked to sit in judgment one way or the other of the president of the United States probably early in the new year. What is your attitude? What is your approach to taking on that very rare historic responsibility?
Sen.Braun: Well, number one, I look at how the whole thing started, and I was dismayed that shortly after the election could have even still been in the month of November of 2016, especially December, January before inauguration. There was discussion, individuals that were so upset with the results of that election that the discussion of impeachment there, how are we going to get rid of a newly elected president? That to me, put an air of caution out there. I figured that they would look for whatever the vehicle would be. And, of course, that was the Mueller report. We now know that that was founded upon really questionable foundation of what we saw just recently. Crop up with the IG report and what the U.S. attorney is looking at. But put that aside, that fell with a thud and a flop. I think they put so much time and effort into it. It was kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy that they wanted this thing to happen. They latch on to the Ukraine issue. Problem here is it had a compressed timeframe. They have five or maybe maybe had more a senator or two more running against the president. Definitely not impartial jurors. And they knew that public support had the parallel whatever case they were trying to make. Course, it was easy with low hanging fruit out of the gate because President Trump has caused that kind of opposition because he’s shaking the system. He isn’t accepting business as usual, but when it hit a hard feeling right at 50 percent generally. And then we had polls show a couple of weeks ago that Marquette polling in the firehose polls last week, where Trump is not only winning on the impeachment argument, but he is all of a sudden is winning in the swing states. That has to be the worst nightmare for Democrats. It was politically calculated and concocted from the get go. We’ve heard the case in the behind the closed door hearings, the public version for constitutional experts. And we’re really hearing a repeat of that again today to justify why they went on a misguided mission.
Guy: You know, just to reinforce something that you just said, you mentioned some of the state polls, the firehouse strategy poll, the Marquette poll and a couple others, a general election poll nationally from USA Today and Suffolk. Just two days ago, they ran through the head to heads. And then we’re now within a year or so, the head to head start to get more interesting and predictive in both directions, whether you like the numbers or not. In this particular poll, Trump versus Biden trumps up by three. Trump versus Sanders. This is nationally, Trump’s up by five. Trump versus warren Trump’s up by eight. Trump. Bloomberg. Trump is plus nine. And Trump. Bootitgigg gets a 10 point spread with the president ahead. I think that there is a concern among Democrats that he very much could when you look at people being very happy with the state of the economy across multiple polls. That’s all that’s all true. Senator, I do wonder, though, setting aside public opinion, setting aside the context of the Russia investigation, which I agree is relevant. Setting aside the political blood lost for the president on the left since the day he was elected. Are there not some serious questions to consider involving what the. President did and sad Visa v. Ukraine. What do you think it’s impeachable or not? Is there something there, in your opinion, that that is troubling or are you of the opinion as the president is that it’s all perfect?
Sen.Braun: No, I don’t go that distance. But on the other hand, the president is not a politician. He’s got a different style. He had a style in the business world that maybe not everybody agreed with. But he’s getting things done. But on the particularity of are there troubling issues out there associated with it? I don’t know that any of the many of us would have ventured a phone call where that subject would have been brought up, whether it was aimed at the Bidens or corruption in general. And we find that it was generally just worried about corruption in a corrupt place. When we were gonna to give him a lot of money in this day and age guy in my campaign, I was the full participant in it. And where that vitriol, where that bitter polarization shows through, you give any opportunity, any opening, that is what has occurred. So I think even the president probably wishes he may not have put himself into this predicament. But clearly, it is at best something that you might consider inappropriate. It’s not impeachable. The case is flimsy. And I think this is a political discourse. It’s not a court of law. There’s not probably an impartial juror. When you look at everyone’s point of view as a politician. And so that to me is a false argument. But in general, I think the lesson to be learned going forward is the agenda is working so well as a mainstream entrepreneur. I can speak with, I think, pretty good authority. This is the best economy that I’ve witnessed and been at it many years. So many other things are going well. You give any opening, especially when we got the Q early on, what they said they were going to do. I hope that we get this behind us and we start talking about all the good things this president has done. That’s what most Hoosiers are interested in. I think most Americans in all that stuff’s been on the shelf.
Guy: Yeah. Senator Braun, I think it’s interesting when you talk about the impartial juror standard, you’re referencing what some of the Democrats are saying because Senator McConnell or Senator Graham have openly stated, we’re not impartial. We have an opinion. We reviewed the evidence record name in the White House. They’re saying, well, they ought to recuse themselves because they can’t do their duty. But I look at tweets from Senate Democrats. Many of them have obviously made up their minds and have said so publicly. I think you’re right that that’s a silly argument. I want to ask you this, though, because it’s related. There are a lot of people in this town, Washington, D.C., senators, who have been in that body for just forever. Right. They have been there for. It feels like a hundred years. And so they’ve all said things on the record in the past, namely 20 years ago during the Clinton impeachment, where a lot of people are now swapping their previous positions. And that’s happening on both sides and people are calling them out. You’re new to the Senate. You don’t have that sort of paper trail. You didn’t go through the Clinton impeachment, you know, front and center like a lot of these senators have done. What do you think is, given that perspective, a fair way to go about the trial, forgetting all of the baggage and the hypocrisy on both sides? What do you think this process ought to look like when it lands in the Senate?
Sen.Braun: Well, we’ve got something fairly recently. You know, during the Clinton years. And it’s interesting where you could reverse roles almost with what maybe Lindsey had said with Leader McConnell said and Chuck Schumer. Yes. And it can be completely reversed. And that shows the political nature of it. It also says that when I ran a term limit, limited myself after two terms. I believe that if you did that, many here don’t agree with that because they practiced. Otherwise you’d get a better kind of individual to come serve. That wasn’t immediately getting here, nestling in maybe calculating votes based upon what’s best for getting reelected. You also don’t have to really worry about maybe what you said 20, 25 years ago because you’d be gone and you’d have a new breed in here. So in general, though, I think that you better be careful with that back then when you were on record generally. It wasn’t as hot. It wasn’t as incendiary as it is now. All of this will get used against you. But in this case, I still think it’s fair because they were looking at it from different angles politically. And impeachment is a political instrument. It’s not a court of law. We’ve got to keep in mind.
Guy: As the debate unfolds about witnesses, right? Because you had Chuck Schumer, we dredge up the quotes, him saying he did even want a trial, right. And then he said, well, we’re gonna have a trial. No witnesses, no new witnesses, no live witnesses. And now, of course, they want new witnesses. They want live witnesses. They’re making all these demands. They’re trying to pick off some of your Republican colleagues. And there’s a debate among the GOP side of things. Do we do a very quick. Do we dismiss immediately, which is what Lindsey Graham has suggested? Do we have a quick trial with no new witnesses or do we go with the Hunter Biden in the world and call a bunch of people and Adam Schiff for the whistleblower, what have you as you hear those arguments, where do you come down? Senator Braun, on. On how that should go. And do you think that you will prevail based on the conversations that you’ve had with your colleagues?
Sen.Braun: So at this point, Leader McConnell is the one that’s going to direct traffic here in the Senate and this is his game and he’s good at it. He called out Chuck Schumer immediately about what was different about his request this time, where he tried to put everything together on the basic things you’d agree to. And the idea of witnesses, of course, when that was done 20 some years ago, those were separated. So you heard the opening statements. The case is being made by each side and then the question of witnesses came up. So that was kind of a trick on the part of Senator Schumer that he knew was never going to go anywhere because it’s a double edged sword. If he’s going to get witnesses, you know, we’re going to get ours. And he kind of qualified that up front. That would rule out the Bidens. And of course, we’re not interested in giving them witnesses of their choice when we can’t have the same. So I think he knew that was going to go nowhere. I do trust Leader McConnell in a situation like this to where we’ll do the right thing. And from what I can see my own personal opinion and I’ve been open to any new information that might come along. I listened to it and all three versions through the House. There’s been nothing new. The case has gotten flimsier. And Chuck Schumer is maybe trying to make up for what they didn’t do in the House. I believe it’ll be set 10 days to two weeks. Both sides will make strong cases. What input we as senators can have is still unclear. But I think it since there’s nothing new in the fact that neither side wants witnesses for all the reasons we know it’ll be very similar to what happened in the Clinton process other than I think this will take less time.
Guy: Senator, last question. All of the bright lights on the House of Representatives today, everyone paying attention. The media is wall to wall with impeachment. You guys have a different a different agenda over in the Senate today. It’s an agenda that you guys have been pursuing extremely aggressively throughout the Trump presidency. Talk to us about judges and the importance of that issue while everyone’s talking about impeachment.
Sen.Braun: I mean that when you really have kind of the Hatfields and McCoys, when it comes to policy points of view, there was a surprising amount of interest, 80 senators came forward to talk about reforming health care. And that’s another issue. We do it at another time. That’s a broken industry. That’s something that I think needs to be fixed. Judges, though, President Trump was filibustered 128 times in his first two years for circuit court judges, district judges and sub level cabinet positions. We changed the rules about six months ago. And we now, I think during Trump’s three years of appointed 50 circuit court judges, the appellate level, and we are filling those left and right and we’ll keep doing that. And we’re going to actually get caught up here sooner or later. And then I think we’ll turn back to why I came here. And that’s the lower the cost of health care reform. It don’t jump from the frying pan into the fire with Medicare for all address issues on climate. Don’t get rolled like conservatives did with Obamacare. Be in on the discussion, look at infrastructure. And tomorrow we’re voting on two bills that have completely bypassed the process of budgeting. We’ll give us another trillion dollar deficit. And sadly, many Republicans are to blame, along with almost all Democrats that are growing this bloated government that’s out of control.
Guy: Well, all right. Thank you.
Sen.Braun: Yes, you’ll see a few votes different than normal that say enough’s enough.
Guy: Yeah. And we’ll have to talk about those other important issues coming up. Meantime, the mantra from Leader McConnell is leave no vacancy behind in the judiciary. And you guys are working to. Make that happen and Harry Reid gets a big tip of the hat on that for blowing up the filibuster, her senator, Mike Brown, Republican, Indiana. We appreciate your time and look forward to having you back. Merry Christmas.
Sen.Braun: Thank you, guy
Guy: Quick break. We’ll return right after this.