Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) said the quiet part out loud Monday, telling reporters during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump that she’s eager to see how the Ukraine scandal harms 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, when the Iowa caucuses are held next week.

HuffPost reports that a gaggle of GOP senators were taking questions from reporters Monday when Ernst remarked:

“I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters. Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point?”

Ernst’s comments came on a day when attorneys representing President Trump repeatedly tried to change the topic from Trump’s alleged crimes to debunked conspiracy theories involving Biden and his son, Hunter:

“During the day’s proceedings in the Senate, Trump’s lawyers painted Biden and his son Hunter as corrupt actors worthy of investigation. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, in particular, zeroed in on the younger Biden for his role serving on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father oversaw Ukraine policy as vice president of the United States.

“’Every witness who was asked about Hunter Biden’s involvement at Burisma agreed there was a potential appearance of a conflict of interest,’ Bondi said Monday, describing House testimony.”

Ernst then added:

“With the Iowa caucuses coming up next Monday night, maybe it will influence some of those voters as well.”

The giddy outburst from Ernst led Democrats to suggest that once again Trump and his surrogates are actively engaged in trashing the Biden because he’s afraid he’ll lose in a head-to-head matchup with the former vice president.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) noted:

“It’s so clear they want us to become complicit in helping the administration continue to destroy the Bidens. I’m not going to be a party to the same scheme that the president’s been impeached for.”

The Biden campaign also slammed Ernst, with campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates saying:

“Republicans are terrified that Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee, defeat Donald Trump, and help progressives gain seats in the House and take the Senate. We are in a battle for the soul of this nation, and the GOP can’t stop revealing that Vice President Biden is the best candidate to win it.”

Donald Trump is on trial, and since Republicans can’t defend the president with facts, they’re content to slag Joe Biden, whose only crime is daring to run for the White House.

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