The Senate has transformed into a courtroom for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Legislative hearings are postponed. Judicial nominations have been canceled until further notice.
But the impeachment trial hasn’t stopped the daily grind of Senate fundraising. GOP lawmakers have scheduled near daily events for lobbyist fundraisers throughout this week of impeachment proceedings.
The week began with a dinner fundraiser for Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., scheduled on Monday evening. And on Tuesday morning, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., was scheduled for a fundraiser at the offices of Capitol Tax Partners, a lobby firm that represents firms including Apple, Citigroup, and Uber. On Tuesday evening, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, was scheduled to host a dinner fundraiser, with a request for hosts of the event to provide $1,000 each.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., planned to start the day on Wednesday with a breakfast fundraiser. The invite for the event, sent to supporters on Friday, requests that political action committees provide $5,000 to host.
And on Thursday, Thune will appear for a breakfast fundraiser with Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind. Later that day, the National Republican Senatorial Committee will host McConnell and 11 other GOP senators for a large fundraiser benefiting the party’s 2020 election effort.
Several senators canceled fundraising plans last week as the trial got under way. Last week, however, GOP officials sent out an updated fundraising schedule, with events on nearly every day this week. Notably, the events appear to be during trial breaks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The impeachment trial schedule runs through the week. The trial will include eight hours of questioning on both Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, followed by four hours of debate, the Senate will vote on calling new witnesses to the trial.
Jahan Wilcox, a spokesperson for Braun’s office, confirmed the event but said, “it’s no different than Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren campaigning in Iowa while the trial is in recess.”
“I don’t know anything about campaign activity since this is the official office, but I do know that Sen. Cassidy will be in the impeachment trial on Wednesday and every day the trial is scheduled,” said Cassidy spokesperson Cole Avery.
Super PACs aligned with Senate Republicans raised $68.3 million in 2019, a record for a nonelection year. The party will be defending 23 seats this year.