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.
Josh Hawley is sitting in the gallery, not on the floor, "continuing to read papers in unmarked manila folders. They resembled the folders he had at his desk on Tuesday, but of course his being up in the gallery meant reporters in the gallery couldn’t see" in them — @kasie
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) February 10, 2021
Hawley is a juror in this trial. In any other trial, he'd be kicked off. Why not here?
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) February 10, 2021
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley — who objected to Biden’s win and encouraged the Capitol attack — is currently sat with his feet up in the Senate gallery. Not once has he paid attention to the impeachment trial.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) February 10, 2021
Breaking via MSNBC: Republican Josh Hawley is ignoring the trial reading stuff that has nothing to do with the impeachment… even sitting with his legs up on the seat in front of him.
If this gets you kicked out of Biology class, why doesn't it get him kicked out of the Senate?
— Chip Franklin.com (@chipfranklin) February 10, 2021
Hawley is the only senator sitting alone in the gallery. He spent most of the presentation with his legs crossed reading paper from a manilla envelope. He did look up and watched as Neguse showed criminal complaints from the rioters charged by DOJ
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) February 10, 2021
It should be forever January 6th in how we view Josh Hawley, who has shown zero remorse or regret for instigating an effort to overthrow the US government. https://t.co/qD8WbXQ8mW
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) February 10, 2021
Josh Hawley is making a spectacle of himself deliberately. Why would he disrespect those who died on Jan 6 and after? Why?
— Anne Rice (@AnneRiceAuthor) February 10, 2021
Josh Hawley is a national disgrace, Missouri deserves far better than this racist carpetbagger https://t.co/O8tH9BPf47
— Auntiem (@1LNMN) February 10, 2021
Josh Hawley is a traitor to America and should be in prison. https://t.co/Psn2AZ4nZu
— maraleia (@maraleia) February 10, 2021
Missouri? You should be mortified to have the arrogant and unpatriotic #JoshHawley representing you in the US Senate. Feet up, upper gallery, going through paperwork during Impeachment trial. He thinks he is above the law. Demagogue in training.
— #Blue22 #TruthOrConsequences (@TheSpringChickn) February 10, 2021