Even a conservative Republic senator finds the restrictions on the press during the Senate impeachment trial unacceptable. Senator John Kennedy said it was a mistake to limit reporters trying to ask questions of senators, making them stand in press pens on the second floor of the Senate. (The Hill, January 15, 2020, by Jordain Carney)
Reporters are complaining that as the impeachment begins Capitol police are even interrupting interviews on topics unrelated to impeachment as a group of reporters complained to senate leaders about the new rules. Someone has also given flashcards to senators with tips on how to avoid press interviews. (Deadline, January 16, 2020, by Ted Johnson)
Pen America, January 15, 2020, released a statement criticizing the new rules as a violation of press freedom and the public’s right to know. “They constitute an unacceptable effort to block the free flow of information at a time when that information is necessary to the functioning of our democracy,” said director Thomas O. Melia.