Tester: Senators have a ‘solemn oath’ to take impeachment trial seriously
Sen. Jon Tester said Thursday that his colleagues should take seriously the case presented by House impeachment managers in former President Donald Trump’s second Senate trial, after reports circulated that some Republicans were being inattentive during the proceedings.
In an interview on CNN, Tester (D-Mont.) was asked about the reported behavior by those GOP lawmakers, which included Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) doodling and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) rifling through papers with his feet up in the Senate gallery.
“I think we’ve got a solemn obligation to do what the Constitution says. And I think paying attention is a big part of it, whether it’s an impeachment trial or otherwise,” Tester said. “I will make no judgments on those folks. But the truth is, this is a very somber and important event, and we need to treat it as such.”
Tester’s remarks on Thursday morning came after House managers on Wednesday presented previously unseen footage of last month’s Capitol insurrection, which showed just how close the pro-Trump rioters came to congressional lawmakers and staff.
Commenting on the video evidence, Tester specifically mentioned clips of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) being forced to double-back as the mob spread throughout the building.
“It was scary. It was eye-opening. It was incredibly informing,” Tester said. “And it is something that, you know, I knew that we were in harm’s way, but nothing to the extent that I saw yesterday. So we’ve gotten new information from the prosecution as to what happened on Jan. 6. And it was far worse than I thought, for sure.”