Statement on Press Access for President Trump’s Impeachment Trial – January 21, 2020
The Executive Committee of Correspondents continues to oppose members of the press having to pass through magnetometers to enter the Senate chamber. Reporters already go through magnetometers to enter any building in the Capitol complex. This unprecedented decision could delay press access to the Senate Chamber. The executive committee supports plans in place to protect the Capitol, members, staff, public, and press, but will continue to strenuously object to this unprecedented act.
We are puzzled that a pooled television camera for press conferences and interviews has not been approved on the west side of the Ohio Clock Corridor, a break from precedent since it was allowed in 1999. There was no answer from the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms staff today when we asked for an explanation. We reminded them of the 1999 precedent, and we further asked whether the decision had come from Leader McConnell’s office.
We do want to thank the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms for working with our committee to increase access to off-camera reporting in the Ohio Clock Corridor and granting additional network pool cameras to get the arrivals of the Chief Justice and White House defense team to the Capitol.
We hope to continue cooperative efforts on coverage with the SAA throughout the trial on press access.