The impeachment trial is looking to begin early next week, barring any unforeseen mishaps in the transference of the impeachment articles from the House to the Senate.
And in preparation, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have released a draft of their trial rules — and they are quite strict.
The conduct on the floor will be much different — and much quieter — than normal proceedings.
According to the draft, phones are prohibited from being on any persons, whether it’s a senator or hearing attendee: “No use of phones or electronic devices will be allowed in the Chamber.”
Additionally, Senators will be severely limited in terms of access to their staff, who normally help with creating questions and compiling information.
Not only is staff access curtailed, but physical movement around the floor isn’t allowed either.
McConnell and Schumer instructed their colleagues “to remain in their seats at all times they are on the Senate floor during the impeachment proceedings.”
This would be “strictly enforced,” per the rules.
But, when it comes to voting, Senators must stand: “Should votes be required during the proceedings, Senators will stand and vote from their seats.”
Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer write a letter to senators outlining access procedures in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial. pic.twitter.com/TZHCkdowdN
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 15, 2020
Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts will be overseeing the entirety of the Senate impeachment trial — and the rules require that he is called by his official title, “Mr. Chief Justice,” by all in attendance. Enforcement of the rules will be conducted by the Senate Sergeant of Arms.