Americans lash out at ‘boring’ Trump trial
IT IS the first day of US President Donald Trump's impeachment trial and the public and senators alike already seem to be less than impressed with the proceedings.
The trial began at 1pm ET (5am AEDT) and is still going.
Social media has been flooded with complaints about how "boring" the first day of debates has been, with many claiming they couldn't stand to watch it any longer.
This impeachment is so sooo boring— Robbie Man (@RobbieMan5) January 22, 2020
I'm a political junkie and always find something interesting about most actions and events. I could not watch today's impeachment beginnings as it was extremely boring. The ratings must be in the toilet. Maybe CNN won't be the worst this week?— DAVID C. (@SnowflakeZapper) January 22, 2020
Yawn. Senators falling asleep during @RealDonaldTrump impeachment trial.— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) January 22, 2020
Reaction so far on the impeachment trial? Boring.— IB Sharkbait❌ (@ibsharkbait) January 22, 2020
A whole lot of nothing so far.
And it's not just the public that have lost interest in today's proceedings.
After a few hours many of the senators appeared to have given up even trying to look like they were paying attention.
By 5.30pm ET (9.30am AEDT) it was clear the drawn-out process was taking a toll on the senators in the chamber.
Many of them appeared to be restless and constantly moving around in their seats, while others were slumped down with their heads resting on their hands.
Multiple times Senator Bernie Sanders was seen softly clapping his hands together in front of his face before resting his hands in front of him.
At one point Senator Mark Warner was seen rubbing his eyes, and Senator Dan Sullivan was spotted letting out a huge yawn.
Senator Martha McSally had a blanket over her lap and at one point both Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Jim Risch appeared to have their eyes closed.
Senators on both sides appeared to have completely given up on taking notes or paying attention to the videos being presented to them.
One of the factors that has no doubt added to the exhaustion was the ban on the majority of food and drink, including coffee, being consumed in the chamber.
This paired with a ban on all electronics and talking to each other meant many senators were left looking for ways to entertain themselves as the speeches dragged on.
Some relied on gum and mints to stay awake, with Sanders appearing to pull some lozenges out of his pocket and read the back of the packet.
The unusually drawn out proceedings are the result of the proposed rules for the trial released by Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, last night.
According to the rules, the White House counsel and House impeachment managers would each be allowed 24 hours over two days each to make opening arguments.
In comparison Bill Clinton's impeachment trial also allowed 24 hours for debate but it was spread across four days.
Condensing it into just two days means the debates would drag on for about 12 hours.
The rules also allow voting on whether or not witnesses will be called to testify.
Social media users suggested Mr McConnell was pushing for the debates to run for such long hours so people wouldn't be awake to watch the impeachment trial.
The history books will read that our Government held an impeachment trial and the GOP did not allow the house to have no witnesses, no documents, no evidence, no cameras, and a trial at 1am! #GOPCoverup #midnightmitch— Amber✨ (@euphoria_in_sun) January 21, 2020
NEW - White House defense team and House impeachment managers will now have 24 hours over the course of three rather than two. That means the difference between ending at 9pm vs. 1am.— Margaret Chadbourn (@MLChadbourn) January 21, 2020
#MoscowMitch released rules for the Senate impeachment trial. Both sides will have 24hrs to make their case within the 1pm-1am timeframe over 4 days.— DaveMonroe (@DMonroeIII) January 21, 2020
This was designed to distract 51% of Americans from damaging evidence and make it harder for key witnesses to testify.
These proposed rules were met with major backlash, with the Democrats arguing the president's allies were trying to rush to an acquittal.
Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, said that any senator who supports Mr McConnell's proposed rules would be "complicit in the cover-up of the president".
After a debate of the trial rules, they were changed slightly to allow three days of opening arguments instead of two.
This means each session will likely run for about eight hours each day, which is still proving to be a long time for both those watching and the senators involved.
Social media users are sharing their disdain and the rules of the trial, particularly the one allowing a vote on whether witnesses will be called to testify, with many using the hashtag #GOPCoverup.
Each time the @SenateGOP votes today against subpoenaing witnesses & documents, each Senator is refusing to let Americans hear the whole truth. That's an insult to all of us.— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) January 22, 2020
Remember this during the rest of this "trial."
Remember this in November.#GOPCoverup #ImpeachmentTrial
Every single one of these votes to suppress evidence and witnesses should be used to bludgeon those vulnerable GOP Senators DAILY until Election Day.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) January 22, 2020
And they should be publicly SHAMED every day for the rest of their miserable lives. #GOPCoverup