The fidget caucus and the rule breakers: Inside the Senate trial

How senators are really behaving at Trump's impeachment trial.

1/25/2020 6:10:00 AM

Senators chained to their desks and passing notes during the impeachment trial can feel more like students in a classroom than jurors in a courtroom. And some are earning their yearbook superlatives to boot

How senators are really behaving at Trump's impeachment trial.

Least CaffeinatedA handful of senators were seen dozing off throughout the week, including Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), who wascaught snoozingby The New York Times sketch artist. Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Pat Leahy of Vermont were also briefly spotted, ahem, resting their eyes.

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Sen. Richard Shelby, meanwhile, spent much of the trial leaning back in his chair, eyes fixed on the speaker, without even a notebook on his desk. In front of him, a stack of papers sat in a neat pile, untouched. Occasionally, the Alabama Republican would pick at and bite his nails.

Most Likely to Get Mistaken for a CelebrityFreshman Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has long been known for flouting the unspoken business-wear-only rules that govern Capitol Hill. And since theArizona Democrat graduated from the House to the Senate last year, she’s continued to show off her splashy, modern style in the staid chamber, rocking everything from a fur stole to knee-high boots.

The impeachment trial is no exception. Sinema received kudos from Twitter fashionistas for her style on the first day of the trial — a bright red dress with a cape attached. She’s also been spotted in a knee-lengthand studiously jotting down notes in the chamber in — what else — a sparkly pink notebook.

The ChummiestBarely an hour went by in the Senate chamber without whispered chatting in the row of Sens. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Cassidy and David Perdue of Georgia. The group — all seated in the back of the chamber — are among the GOP’s most visibly restless senators. (At one point, Scott removed his shoes while he sat watching the speeches.)

At the start of the trial, Sasse, Scott and sometimes Cassidy were quietly exchanging notes. By Thursday afternoon, though, all four senators were caught chatting, even chuckling out loud, during the presentations.GOP Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Tom Cotton of Arkansas — two rising GOP stars who are seated next to each other — were also repeatedly whispering and laughing quietly on the floor. And Sens. John Cornyn

of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Barrasso of Wyoming, all top Republicans, were often seen exchanging smiles and making gestures toward one another.The ChilliestSen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) shuffled into the chamber after dinner on Thursday wearing a full-length dark pea coat, as well as a bright scarf. Hours earlier, Feinstein used one of the trial breaks to seek warmth, walking into a third-room lounge room where she immediately asked, “Is it warm in here?” Feinstein is the oldest sitting senator, at age 86. Several other female senators were also bundled up: Murkowski and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) both wore shawls throughout the week.

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Sit down shut up and do your duty. That's why the newsies are not allowed to have cameras in that area. Again I ask about the infants and children 45 put in concentration camps in this country? How are they doing? Are needs being met? Well if they were to act like a jury, they wouldn’t talking about the case to the public, but they blew that waaaaayyyyy before the ‘grand jury’

Wasn't Collins offended!!

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