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Politics McConnell, Schumer issue ground rules for impeachment trial

19:40  15 january  2020
19:40  15 january  2020 Source:   rollcall.com

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Senators and their staffs officially learned Wednesday of access restrictions and decorum practices in and around the Senate chamber during the upcoming impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in Louisville, Ky., in 2018.© Timothy D. Easley Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in Louisville, Ky., in 2018.

In a Dear Colleague letter signed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Charles E. Schumer of New York, senators were advised of limits on guest and staff access to the Capitol building’s Senate wing.

Senators and House members will be allowed access, as will staffers with special impeachment trial credentials (the normal hard passes will not be sufficient). In addition, visitors to the Capitol for official business will need to be escorted through the tunnels from the Senate office buildings by staffers with the proper special credential.

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“Access to any floor of the Senate Wing of the Capitol is restricted daily, beginning 30 minutes prior to all proceedings involving the exhibition or consideration of the Articles of Impeachment against the President of the United States and daily, beginning 30 minutes prior to all times that the United States Senate is sitting for trial with the Chief Justice of the United States presiding,” McConnell and Schumer wrote Wednesday.

Also eligible for Senate-side access are people who hold gallery tickets to view the proceedings, as well as aides with floor privileges under the normal Senate rules (provided they have the impeachment trial overlay) and members of the press (who also have been advised they need the special credentials).

McConnell defends his impeachment trial rules as even-handed and fair

  McConnell defends his impeachment trial rules as even-handed and fair U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell called his proposed rules for President Trump's impeachment trial a "fair road map.""Today, we will consider and pass an organizing resolution that will structure the first phase of the trial," McConnell said Tuesday, shortly before the trial got rolling.

Visitor gallery tickets are being allocated to individual Senate offices, and the daily passes may be used more than once on the day in which they are valid, which could make Senate offices a hot spot for handing off the passes to view the proceedings.

Committees will each get two of the special credentials, and personal offices will each get one, according to the leaders.

As for the behavior of the senators themselves, a separate bulletin released on Wednesday affirms that there will be no electronic devices in the chamber for use by the senators during the trial. The notice also reminds senators that they need to keep quiet during the proceedings in the chamber.

Slideshow by photo services

McConnell signs on to bill to start Trump trial over Pelosi's objections

  McConnell signs on to bill to start Trump trial over Pelosi's objections Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signed onto a measure that would allow lawmakers to begin President Trump’s impeachment trial without receiving the articles House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is withholding. © Provided by Washington ExaminerMcConnell, a Kentucky Republican, is among more than one dozen Republicans who are co-sponsors of a measure authored by Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, authorizing the Senate to begin the trial as early as Monday, or 25 days after the House passed the impeachment articles on Dec. 19.

“Upon the announcement of the arrival of the Chief Justice, Senators should all silently rise at their desks and remain standing until the Chief Justice takes his seat,” the notice says. “Similarly, when the Chief Justice departs, Senators should rise and remain standing until he has exited the chamber.”

In accordance with impeachment trial rules, requests of the chief justice such as motions and questions for impeachment managers are supposed to be made in writing by senators.

The letter from Schumer and McConnell also effectively includes confirmation of media access restrictions which CQ Roll Call reported Tuesday. Senators are being told to refer questions about media access to the Senate wing of the Capitol to the Senate media gallery staff.

Tuesday night, Rules and Administration ranking Democrat Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., expressed opposition to the press restrictions, which include an additional layer of screening to enter the Senate chamber and a “pen” on the second floor of the Capitol restricting the ability of members of the media to question senators.

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Mitt Romney wants John Bolton to testify at impeachment trial .
Sen. Mitt Romney said Monday that he wants to hear from John Bolton after the former national security adviser offered to testify in the Senate’s impeachment trial..“Of course,” said the Utah Republican when asked if he wants Bolton to testify. “He has firsthand information and, assuming that articles of impeachment reach the Senate, I’d like to hear what he has to say.

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