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.

“Our sense is that it is still much too early to tell what the political impact of all of this is going to be,” said one Republican operative who works on Senate campaigns. “Everyone’s going to be watching over the coming weeks to see how the numbers on impeachment move in public polling. I think particularly how independents see it.”