Idaho Sen. Jim Risch first to fall asleep during impeachment trial, Washington Post reports
Cynthia Sewell, Idaho Statesman
In its live online play-by-play of the first day of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, The Washington Post reported shortly after 5:30 p.m., Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Risch “could be seen from the press gallery motionless.”
That’s about four hours after the proceedings began, and the snooze lasted about 15 minutes, the Post noted.
While there is not a media photograph of Risch napping — media cameras are not allowed in the Senate chamber during the trial — there is a sketch.
Art Lien, a courtroom sketch artist, is putting his talent to work for The New York Times during the impeachment trial. The sketch artist captured Risch in a scene he captioned, “Senators Crapo, Risch (catching a few winks) and Blount, 1-21-20 …”
“When Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) cued up video of testimony from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Risch briefly perked up, but quickly closed his eyes again,” according to the Post.
Risch, along with the other three members of Idaho’s congressional delegation, has remained steadfast in support of the president throughout the impeachment process.
“The transcript of and whistleblower report related to President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Zelensky were not compelling to me, after reviewing both,” Risch said after the public release of the whistleblower complaint in September alleged Trump used the power of his office for political gain in the 2020 election.
“We heard all kinds of allegations of arm-twisting and bullying, and it’s just not there,” Risch said in September. “I know evidence when I see it, and the Democrats are going to need more than this if they want to build an impeachment case. But, don’t take my word for it — every American should read the report, which is easily understood, and make up his or her own mind.”
The Senate spent the trial’s first day debating the rules and parameters under which the trial will be conducted.
That debate is expected to continue Wednesday.