Republicans and Democrats are both furious with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who wants to hide the impeachment proceedings from the American people.
Politico reported Wednesday that the Senate is working to restrict access to the trial because he wants to avoid access to the leaders by citizens. During the confirmation hearing of then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh, voters were able to meet their senators in the hallways.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said that the move sends the “wrong message.”
“It’s a huge mistake,” Kennedy told Politico. “U.S. senators are grown women and grown men. If they don’t want to make a comment, they know how to say ‘no comment’ … We aren’t children.”
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) agreed, saying that Americans should never be barred from having access to their elected leaders.
“I don’t think you guys should ever be restricted,” he said. Braun also noted that he doesn’t have a problem talking to the press, but the McConnell restrictions are “kind of a way to give some certainty to the individuals that maybe don’t want to interact.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IN) mocked the move.
“Finally, we’re being protected from the overbearing press,” he said, deadpanned. He also indicated that there would be a 15-minute delay from adjournment before questions could be asked.
Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) both agreed that they didn’t want to allow access to voters or to the press because they don’t want to be “harassed.”