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Sen Josh Hawley Puts Feet Up During Trump Impeachment Trial, Enraging Viewers

Hawley says “we don’t have jurisdiction” to impeach Trump, though he’s a sworn impartial juror

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley’s conduct during Trump’s second impeachment trial enraged viewers this afternoon after he was seen kicking back with his feet up and ignoring the proceedings — even though he’s a juror on the case.

Reporters covering the trial spotted Hawley sitting in the gallery of the Senate chamber instead of on the floor. NBC News’ Garrett Haake tweeted that he saw the Missouri senator “sitting up in the gallery with his feet up on the seat in front of him, reviewing paperwork, throughout the trial.”

“Not once has he paid attention to the impeachment trial,” reporter Hugo Lowell noted.

CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju spoke to Hawley, who had this to say about his choice to sit upstairs: “I can basically see the back of their heads. But I sort of picked a spot where I can look right down on them, I can see the TV, and it’s interesting.”

Speaking to Fox News, Hawley added that he thought his gallery seat was “a better viewpoint because I can look right at the impeachment managers and see them in the face. When I’m sitting in the chamber, I kind of look at the back of their head.”

Hawley then told NBC News congressional reporter Julie Tsirkin that he chose the seat because he doesn’t like his assigned seat in the chamber. He explained, “I feel I had a little bit better view. Where I sit over in [the] Senate chamber is kind of in the corner. … I can also space out a little bit more and it’s just not quite as crowded.”

Hawley swore to be an impartial juror on the case against Trump — despite his open loyalty to the former president — but his conduct thus far has been blasted by critics, especially Democrats. Hawley told Raju that he doesn’t think Congress has any jurisdiction to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the deadly riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6. He added that he thinks the case is being laid out in a “very understandable, easy-to-follow manner,” but said, “I don’t think it’s going to change any minds.”

Below, see reactions to Hawley’s conduct during the ongoing impeachment hearing.