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No tweeting: Senators have to keep quiet, stay off iPhones, and remain seated during Trump's impeachment trial

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 16 Jan 2020


Senators will not be permitted to use iPhones and will have to keep quiet during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, according to "decorum guidelines" sent out on Wednesday.Senators are also "requested to remain in their seats at all times they are on the Senate floor during the impeachment proceedings."The Senate is still finalizing all of the rules for the trial, which includes deliberations over witnesses.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.The rules for senators during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial effectively turn them into high school students.They are not allowed to use their iPhones, they have to keep quiet, and they must remain seated during the process."During the impeachment proceedings, standing will not be permitted on the floor and this requirement will be strictly enforced. Accordingly, all senators are requested to remain in their seats at all times they are on the Senate floor during the impeachment proceedings," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a letter on Wednesday.Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer write a letter to senators outlining access procedures in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial. pic.twitter.com/TZHCkdowdN' Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 15, 2020Senators cannot take electronic devices into the chamber during the trial, which means they will not be live-tweeting the proceedings."We will not have our electronic devices. I just saw a piece of cabinetry in the cloakroom where we will be required to turn over our iPads and our iPhones," GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said earlier this week, per The Hill.In addition to the letter from McConnell and Schumer, senators were sent a "decorum guidelines" document that outlined some of the rules for the trial, including:"Senators should plan to be in attendance at all times during the proceedings.""Senators will only have the opportunity for limited speech at the trial. Members should refrain from speaking to neighboring Senators while the case is being presented.""Reading materials should be confined to only those readings which pertain to the matter before the Senate.""No use of phones or electronic devices will be allowed in the Chamber. All electronics should be left in the Cloakroom in the storage provided.""Should votes be required during the proceedings, Senators will stand and vote from their seats.""Pages will continue to be available to relay messages outside the Chamber, and the pages also will be responsible for relaying Senators' written questions to the Chief Justice through the staff of the Parliamentarian.""During the course of the proceedings the Chief Justice should be referred to as 'Mr. Chief Justice.'""The well of the Senate will not be accessible to senators during the impeachment trial. Please refrain from coming between the chief justice and the managers and counsel. Members should also refrain from using the doors to the lobby when the Senate is sitting in trial.""Access to the Senate floor for senators will be through the Ohio Clock door and cloakrooms until the trial begins. Following the chief justice's arrival in the chamber, all entries and exits will be through the cloakrooms. Members that choose to use the Ohio Clock door should immediately proceed to the cloakroom to store all electronic devices prior to taking their seat in the chamber."There will also be restrictions on reporters, which was revealed on Tuesday and has raised criticism ' including from Republicans."There's an effort to limit the press. I'm going to vote against that if I'm allowed to vote. I think it's a huge mistake. US senators are grown women and grown men," GOP Rep. John Kennedy of Louisiana told Politico reporter Burgess Everetton Wednesday. Kennedy added: "If they don't want to make a comment, they know how to say no comment."As Insider's Eliza Relman reported on Tuesday: Citing security concerns, the Senate will force credentialed reporters to remain inside a single press pen and won't allow them to walk up to and interview senators in the hallways, as is custom.The House on Wednesday announced impeachment managers designated to act as prosecutors during the trial and voted to transmit the articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate.The Senate is still finalizing all of the rules for the trial, which includes deliberations over witnesses.McConnell told reporters on Tuesdayhe expects opening arguments in the impeachment trial to begin on Tuesday, January 21.SEE ALSO:Here's how the schedule for Trump's upcoming Senate impeachment trial could unfoldJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: A law professor weighs in on how Trump could beat impeachment
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