- Some US senators seemed to have a hard time following the strict no-phone policy while listening in on 12-hour days of arguments during the impeachment trial.
- The Senate prohibits members from bringing cell phones into the chamber, and the decorum guidelines for the trial specifically said all electronic devices were banned.
- It was previously reported that Sen. Ted Cruz had his phone on the Senate floor, but his communications director later clarified that he did not.
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Some US senators had a hard time following the strict no-phone policy while listening in on 12-hour days of arguments during the impeachment trial.
The Senate prohibits members from bringing cell phones into the chamber. There’s even a storage unit next to the entrance for senators to put their devices into.
On Tuesday during the first day of the trial, Sen. Ted Cruz’ account tweeted during the proceedings. CNN political analyst Joe Lockheart went on Twitter to rant about the apparent violation.
“Senators on the floor are sworn to silence and have no electronic devices,” Lockheart wrote. “So how is this Senator tweeting? Did he sneak a phone in. Is he willing to go to prison? Or is the tweet from someone other than Cruz.”
Cruz did not take the accusation lightly and responded to Lockheart with a photo of a cell phone next to the words “come and take it.”
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 21, 2020
His communications director Lauren Blair Aronson later clarified that Cruz did not bring his phone to the Senate floor.
Sen. Tom Cotton also appeared to have broken the ban. According to Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly, Cotton kept his phone in his pocket towards the end of proceedings. According to Reilly, he fiddled with his during proceedings and then took it out of his pocket on the floor as the night came to a close.
Other senators stuck to the rules but appeared to struggle greatly.
Sen. Patrick Leahy rushed to get his phone during the first recess break, according to Politico. He even did an impression of Gollum from “Lord of the Rings,” stroking his phone while saying “Oh, my precious.”
A Huffington Post reporter also spotted Sen. Amy Klobuchar pacing inside the Democratic cloakroom during the proceeding, clutching her phone.
Some senators also reportedly wore Apple Watches during the proceedings on Tuesday, seemingly violating the electronics ban.
“It’s a little hard,” Sen. Mazie Hirono told Huffington Post. “But it makes us focus on what’s going on.”
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include Sen. Ted Cruz’ spokeswoman saying he did not take his phone out on the Senate floor.
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