The Senate undertook one of the gravest American political processes on Tuesday when the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump began in earnest as House Managers and Trump's defense team debated to set the rules for the ensuing trial.
On Wednesday, the Democratic impeachment managers began their 24 allotted hours (set over the course of three days) to make their case against Trump. They've cited documents, videos, and Trump's own words to create a compelling case for the removal of the President—or at least for hearing the evidence he's repeatedly blocked from coming to light.
But are Republican Senators listening?
Apparently not, according to reports from those viewing the proceedings in the Senate chamber.
It's against the rules to bring outside cameras and other devices into the Senate during an impeachment trial.
It's also against the rules for Senators to leave their seats during the trial, but those appear to have gone out the window.
Thanks to eagle-eyes journalists in the chamber, and others watching at home, we are getting reports of many Republican Senators who've gone out of the chamber, including Republican heavy hitters like Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Just counted 21 empty seats on the GOP side of the Senate, 2 on the Dem side, a couple hours into Schiff's presenta… https://t.co/g9bdssZphF— Michael McAuliff (@Michael McAuliff) 1579724403.0
Couldn't see when lot of people left, but Graham, Cassidy and Risch were all out for a long time. Graham scooted ba… https://t.co/DtQYrNHHBY— Michael McAuliff (@Michael McAuliff) 1579725274.0
Gillibrand was the one Dem I saw standing in the back, as a number of Republicans were doing. But then Republicans… https://t.co/1PZ7xQwHF1— Jon Ward (@Jon Ward) 1579724871.0
Scenes from the Senate floor: There are a number of empty seats. Some members seem to have momentarily left the roo… https://t.co/j0L1IgGlzJ— Clare Foran (@Clare Foran) 1579666352.0
Just left the Senate gallery. Here’s what I saw that cameras aren’t picking up: there are some empty seats in the g… https://t.co/DgayuUqZq7— Lindsey Mastis (@Lindsey Mastis) 1579718721.0
As House managers continued to lay out the evidence of Trump's guilt, people were dismayed at the apathy of Republican senators.
Like the president, GOP Senators believe the rules aren't meant for them. They're for those other suckers. https://t.co/IVFevcxyoE— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) 1579725582.0
Pretty grotesque. The jurors walk out. Don't you think Fox News will be all over it if Dems walk out when the Trum… https://t.co/MgyBHIG3Ve— Joe Gandelman (@Joe Gandelman) 1579725528.0
How is this acceptable? https://t.co/JF4d4EFqjZ— Susan Hennessey (@Susan Hennessey) 1579724888.0
Regardless of where one stands (or sits) on the matter, it is a sad state of govt that any Senator, absent some leg… https://t.co/0TXB8kAADw— Mark S. Zaid (@Mark S. Zaid) 1579725067.0
republicans not following their own rules, and showing open disdain for the democratic process shocking, i know https://t.co/9ykVozFLnR— nude antifa kobold (@nude antifa kobold) 1579727519.0
They pointed out that this isn't how a trial is supposed to function—especially one with such stratospheric stakes.
That’s... not how being a juror works https://t.co/WUbqvELoC0— Angry Staffer (@Angry Staffer) 1579726410.0
Imagine we held our senators deciding the fate of our entire nation to the same standard as jurors presiding over a… https://t.co/xFN25jNcbf— Andrew Wortman (@Andrew Wortman) 1579726497.0
In a normal trial would the judge be upset if the jurors just left the courtroom while the prosecution spoke? https://t.co/Eseg1Z7mwk— David Rothschild (@David Rothschild) 1579725636.0
Though the only stand Republican senators seem willing to take is standing up to leave the room, Americans are still on the edge of their seats, dreading the possible confirmation that the President is the only American above the law.