REPORT: Senators Refuse to Sit Through Schiff’s 3 Hour Presentation, Leave Over 20 Empty Seats

Multiple reports indicate that lead impeachment manager’s long-winded 3 hour Presentation resulted in nearly 2 dozen empty seats that included Republicans and Democrats.

Per Yahoo, it was only day two, but the restlessness was palpable on the Senate floor on Wednesday as Democrats made their opening arguments against President Donald Trump.

Senators were expecting their first recess at 3:08 p.m., roughly two hours after the trial got underway. But House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff declared around 3:15 p.m. that he still had 10 minutes left, and several Republicans — including a half-dozen who had been waiting near the door — bolted to the exits.

As Schiff finished up his roughly three-hour presentation, there were as many as two dozen Republican senators out of their seats at once — a clear violation of the rules that bar senators from leaving their seats during the trial.

“The end is in sight,” Schiff quipped on the floor, as senators began shuffling out of the chamber en masse.

Even before that scheduled recess break, a half dozen Republicans had decided to stand in the back — like Sens. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Ben Sasse of Nebraska — rather than remain in their seats.

A half-dozen Democrats, too, were in and out of the chamber. That includes Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who left the room three times — including once for more than 10 minutes. But nearly all Democrats remained in the chamber to listen to Schiff, even as some, like Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), stood near the back of the room to lean against a railing or wall.

According to Michael McAauliff of the NY Daily News, Adam Schiff’s long-winded presentation resulted in 21 empty seats, 19 of them being from Republicans.

In a multi-part tweet storm, McAulifee explained:

Just counted 21 empty seats on the GOP side of the Senate, 2 on the Dem side, a couple hours into Schiff’s presentation. Some are just stretching their legs, but most are not in the chamber. Some of them have been out of there for a while.

Couldn’t see when lot of people left, but Graham, Cassidy and Risch were all out for a long time. Graham scooted back when Schiff was talking about Zelensky cancelling the CNN interview.

Dems don’t seem too inclined to complain about this. Bob Casey thought maybe it was bathroom breaks. Sen. Blumenthal: “They want it to end. They want to move on, get it done, without witnesses and documents, taking cues from the White House, shut it down and get beyond.”

Sen. Coons, on Rs wandering off: “I don’t have any incite into what they’re thinking, but there are moments in a trial when people vote with their feet. Jurors don’t get to do that in a real jury. We are acting as if a jury, and it is somewhat disconcerting to have folks absent.”

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