Fidget Spinners, Pacing, Note-Taking: Staying Awake In The Senate Chamber


    Around dinnertime on Tuesday, just about four hours into the impeachment trial of President Trump, Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, did not look enthralled by House Democrats’ presentations. In fact, he looked the opposite. Eyes closed, he was slumped over and appeared to be snoozing. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., reportedly also dozed off briefly before jolting back awake. The sleepy interludes demonstrate a struggle many senators are fighting against during the trial’s marathon sessions: resisting the urge to nod off, as the tiring days test stamina and patience. “It’s constitutionally difficult for senators to be quiet and sit that long. It’s not how we’re built,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Thursday. Under the trial’s strict rules, the elected body must be engaged from the session’s start to finish with arguments about Trump’s now-familiar pressure campaign on Ukraine. Every day, the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms kicks off


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