Maybe he should just retire so he can have ample time for siestas?
The Democratic case to subpoena the State Department didn’t make much of an impression on one key Republican senator, James E. Risch of Idaho, who appeared to be asleep for a significant portion of it.
Shortly after 5:30 PM Risch — chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which oversees the State Department — could be seen from the press gallery motionless, with his eyes closed and head slumped against his right hand.
Risch was the first lawmaker seen by Washington Post reporters to clearly have fallen asleep, about four hours after the trial proceedings began Tuesday. When [Representative Val] Demings cued up video of testimony from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Risch briefly perked up, but quickly closed his eyes again.
The apparent snooze ended about fifteen minutes later, at 5:52 PM, after Demings summarized another video clip.
Granted, it’s been a very long day of proceedings in the Senate.
But that’s the format that Republicans chose. They are currently in the majority. They drew up the schedule for this trial and drafted the rules of procedure to be presented to the Senate for its consideration.
Risch, seventy-six, is a former governor and lieutenant governor of Idaho with an archconservative voting record. He has served in the United States Senate for eleven years, succeeding fellow Republican Larry Craig, who became infamous after being arrested in a Minneapolis airport bathroom stall in 2007.
Risch is a major ally of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and reliably votes in lockstep with Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump on pretty much everything. If you look at the archives of Last Week In Congress, you can see that Risch is aligned with Trump and McConnell nearly one hundred percent of the time.
The Senate, as of the time this post was written, was still in the middle of debating a series of amendments offered by the Democratic caucus to the trial rules of procedure. The fifty-three Senate Republicans have defeated the first four amendments to be offered by the Democrats so far.