Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause
Keeping reporters in pens and severely restricting their access to Senators comes across as nothing more than a blatant attempt to limit transparency and Member accountability in what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has billed as a show trial to ostensibly “clear” President Trump of any wrongdoing. The American people deserve a transparent impeachment trial, but this is one more attempt to deny that to them. These are reporters who interact with Members of Congress every day in the halls of Congress and penning reporters looks like a dog-and-pony show to allow Senators to dodge tough questions.
If there are specific threats that led to these severe media restrictions, then the public should be informed of that fact. Otherwise these actions are completely unjustified. Americans expect and deserve a fully transparent impeachment trial that examines all the facts, utilizes all pertinent evidence, and hears from witnesses. For the Senate to produce anything less would be a show of GOP contempt for our justice system, and it would be a show of GOP contempt for the American people.