Kamala Harris stresses entertainment isn’t ‘the standard’ for impeachment
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris argued that the Senate impeachment trial is not meant to entertain people but should instead “focus on facts.”
The California senator’s comments come amid reports that senators are struggling to pay attention while ratings plummet for networks that are covering the trial.
“This is not a television show, and it shouldn’t be thought of or judged based on the standard of what is entertaining television. This is a trial on the impeachment of the president of the United States,” Harris said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Thursday morning.
“I think that if the process is going to have any legitimacy, it is because it has focused on facts,” she said. “Again, it may not capture everyone’s attention for the length of time that is required, but the standard shouldn’t be whether, you know, it is capturing my attention. Our attention should be focused on this most serious matter because of the nature of the matter.”
With the trial lasting late into the night each day this week, senators have taken to playing with toys to pass the time. GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina passed out fidget spinners, small toys used to ease anxiety and boredom, to colleagues on the Senate floor on Thursday before proceedings began. Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho was captured by a sketch artist sleeping during the first day of the trial.
Nearly a fifth of the audience who watched the first day of the Senate impeachment trial decided not to tune in for the second day. Less than 9 million people watched the trial on Wednesday, which was a decrease from the 11 million who watched the first day on Tuesday.