Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), forced to stay off of the campaign trail due to the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, is reportedly struggling with boredom and has been spotted yawning, “shuffling in his chair,” and reading the back of a tin containing what appeared to be lozenges throughout the hours-long process.
The Senate impeachment trial kicked off at 1 p.m. ET on both Tuesday and Wednesday, with lawmakers adjourning at 9:45 p.m. ET on the latter day. While Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) left an hour early (her spokesman claimed she was feeling “under the weather”), the remaining senators have been sticking it out, using a variety of coping mechanisms to combat their boredom.
Sanders, according to the AP, “yawned and at one point tipped his head back on his chair.” He was accompanied by what Politico described as an “empty yellow legal pad, fiddling with his hands and shuffling in his chair.” He became visibly restless during Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s (D-CA) speech and “struggled to take a plastic wrapper off a box of mints or something similar,” according to Roll Call.
“He eventually took his keys out of his pocket, attempting to muffle the jangle, and cut off the plastic. He then blew his nose and deposited the crumpled tissue on his desk,” the outlet reported.
Politico also reported Sanders pulling out a tin of “what looked like lozenges out of his pocket,” popping one into his mouth, and proceeding to read the back of the container.
Sanders was hardly the only lawmaker demonstratively fighting bouts of boredom throughout the two days of the impeachment trial. According to the Washington Post, Rep. Jim Risch (R-ID) drifted into a snooze on Tuesday around 5:30 p.m. ET, which lasted about 15 minutes.
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) January 22, 2020
Apparently, both Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) experienced a similar temptation, although Gillibrand was also spotted, at another point, taking notes.
9- As the night wore on, senators were restless. Some walked to the back of the chamber and stretched. Sen. Gillibrand took off her heels, sighed then wrapped herself in a red blanket at her desk. Both her &McConnell started to doze off before jolting themselves back awake
— Christal Hayes (@Journo_Christal) January 22, 2020
Other senators were spotted with multiple cups of water and passed notes to each other.
I can’t see all the desks from my seat, but every member has a cup of water and SOME even have two! I could see Sanders, Booker, Duckworth, and Heinrich all had two cups. (I would def have two cups.)
— Addy Baird (@addysbaird) January 21, 2020
Senators technically can't talk to each other during the trial, but they're finding ways around it
Sens. Klobuchar and Coons, for example, sit next to each other. a bit earlier, they passed notes back and forth, then sorta made faces to communicate the rest
— Sam Brodey (@sambrodey) January 21, 2020
I noticed Tim Scott and Ben Sasse, who sit next to each other, passing notes. One would write on a piece of paper and pass it to the other, who would write his reply. 8/
— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) January 21, 2020
CBS News reporter Grace Segers reported on Tuesday that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) gave Trump lawyer Pat Cipollone a “stony glare” when he mentioned that presidential candidates would rather be campaigning in Iowa. “Sanders’ brow furrowed even more,” she added.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) reportedly worked on a crossword puzzle during the trial, as well as a paper airplane.
— John R Parkinson (@jparkABC) January 22, 2020
ABC News: Sen. Rand Paul works on crossword puzzle, paper airplane during impeachment trial https://t.co/LMnvbo2Zcy
— Courier Journal (@courierjournal) January 23, 2020
According to Roll Call, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is expected to give his colleagues “assortment of fidget spinners and other gizmos” on Thursday.
The third day of the Senate impeachment trial kicks off at 1 p.m. ET.