- Several GOP senators appeared to distract themselves as Democrats presented their impeachment case against Trump.
- A maskless Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, doodled and drew a picture of what appeared to be the Capitol building.
- Sen. Mike Braun, an Indiana Republican, appeared to be falling asleep at certain points during the argument.
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Several Republican senators appeared to distract themselves on Wednesday afternoon as the Democratic House impeachment managers laid out their argument that former President Donald Trump should be impeached for inciting a deadly mob to attack the Capitol.
Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, doodled and drew a picture of what appeared to be the Capitol building, according to reporters in room. Paul wasn’t present in the chamber during much of a later portion of the arguments. During a 15-minute break, he was seen delivering a folded note to one of Trump’s attorneys, according to ABC News’ Allison Pecorin.
Both Paul and Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a Wyoming Republican, didn’t wear face masks on the Senate floor for much of the proceedings.
NBC News’ Kasie Hunt reported that Sen. Mike Braun, an Indiana Republican, appeared to fall asleep at certain points during the argument, while Sen. Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, studied what looked like a map of Southeast Asia.
Sen. Josh Hawley, who voted against the certification of the electoral college count after the riot, was spotted with his feet up on the back of a seat in front of him while sitting in the gallery above the Senate floor, according to NBC’s Garrett Haake. Hawley appeared to read documents in manila folders as the arguments played out.
Hawley told reporters on Wednesday that he was reading trial briefs and that he decided to sit in the gallery to have a better view of the chamber. He insisted he was paying attention to the impeachment managers.
While Hawley complimented the Democrats on their presentation, he said that no evidence could convince him to vote to impeach Trump because he doesn’t believe a former president can legally be impeached.
“There’s nothing new here, for me, at the end of the day,” he told reporters on the Hill. “We don’t have jurisdiction as a court in order to pursue this, so nothing that I’ve seen changes my view on that and if you don’t have jurisdiction, that’s just the end of the call.”
Hunt noted that all of the Republican senators appeared to pay attention when Rep. Joe Neguse, one of the impeachment managers, played clips of Jan. 6 rioters saying they were inspired by Trump to attack the Capitol.
Pecorin noted that Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican who voted with Democrats to proceed with the impeachment trial on Tuesday, was the most voracious note-taker in the chamber.
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