Senators Turn to Fidget Spinners During Impeachment Trial


Nick Bumgardner, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

On January 15, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi put pen to paper, signing the articles of impeachment ratified by the House in the decisive December 18 vote that officially impeached President Donald Trump.

Now, the Senate must serve as the jury in a case that is certain to shake up 2020, and as we are entering day five of the Senate trial, senators are quickly realizing there is perhaps no event that challenges one’s mental fortitude like an impeachment trial.

“Strapped” to their desks, senators must remain in the chamber for the full eight-hour trial, six days a week, until an official vote can be held to decide if the president is guilty or not.

Senators are barred from eating, drinking (except water and milk), passing notes, talking with each other, and using their phones.

Instead, they must sit at their desks, eyes glued to the dias, as House managers and President Trump’s legal team clash over impeachment charges.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, prominent Republican from South Carolina, was seen hastily doodling in his notebook during a stretch of the trial, attempting to sneak a peak to his Republican colleague from Wyoming.

Another time, 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders of Vermont was caught letting out a big yawn.

In fact, things got so bad for some, that Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, provided fellow Republicans with “fidget spinners” at yesterday’s trial.

In the back of the chamber, a parade of senators could be seen pacing around the “cloakroom,” trying to stretch, walk around and check their phones.

As Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey put it, “[Walking] actually helps me stay focused, frankly, on what’s going on.”

While some senators attempted to stave off their lack of caffeine, food, or proper rest through pacing, playing with fidget spinners, and doodling, others weren’t so lucky.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, was reported to have briefly dozed off before being startled, and around dinner time, Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, was seen slumped over in his chair, eyes closed, thoroughly enjoying a nap.

Still others were seen playing with stress balls, reading books, and taking unusually long bathroom breaks.

Although the antics of some of our elected officials can make the trial seem trivial and silly, it’s important to note that it is anything but.

The Senate is considering the removal of President Donald Trump, only the third president to be impeached.

The allegations have been presented, the facts are being weighed, and the magnitude and implications of this trial are huge.

Will the president escape removal?  

Will the GOP “rebel” against Trump?

One thing’s for certain—fidget spinners, like the senators using them, won’t be leaving the chamber anytime soon.