With the result of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump pretty much decided before it began, many Republican senators didn’t see much need to pay attention.
The House’s Democratic impeachment managers on Wednesday laid out their case against Trump and his alleged incitement of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. They started the day with a recount of Trump’s last few weeks as president, as he falsely insisted that he’d won the election and promoted calls to “stop the steal.” But with most Republican senators already convinced that the impeachment trial was unconstitutional, they didn’t seem to be listening.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) varied between activities during the testimony, with reporters spotting him studying a map of Southeast Asia at one point and reading a magazine at another. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) found some reading material as well, while Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) seemingly stared at a calendar.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) disappeared at one point and resurfaced with a glass of milk — the only drink besides water that’s allowed during an impeachment trial. Burr was also caught snacking under his mask.
And Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), like he did the day before, spent the testimony doodling. He stenciled a picture of the Capitol printed on his notepad over and over — when he was actually in the Senate chamber.
Rand Paul wasn’t at his desk for much of the 1pm hour. “However, immediately after Schumer called the break, Paul beelined in (without a mask on) and handed a folded piece of paper that had been sitting on his desk to David Shoen,” per pooler @AllisonMPecorin.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 10, 2021
Senators may have been drifting off during the early afternoon, but when Democratic Del. Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands took the floor and described the Capitol attack, complete with video, they were paying attention.