Sen. Marsha Blackburn has come under online scrutiny Thursday after being seen reading a book during the Senate impeachment trial in Washington, D.C.
Blackburn was also criticized for reportedly using her phone during the trial, as made evident by a series of social media posts made throughout the duration of the hearing.
MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake was first to report on Blackburn's activity during the trial, laying out his observations on Republican Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marsha Blackburn.
"Some other observations from the last half hour," Haake wrote in a social media post. "Burr has a fidget spinner, Paul has quite the sketch of the Capital going, and Blackburn is reading a book."
In less than an hour and a half, Blackburn responded to the criticisms via a post on Twitter, where she revealed the name of the book she was reading: Resistance (At All Costs).
"First — I'm reading Resistance (At All Costs) by Kim Strassel," Blackburn wrote. "Read the chapter on obstruction. It provides good insights into today’s proceedings. Second — busy mamas are the best at multi-tasking. Try it."
Before the Senate impeachment trial began on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the decorum guidelines for how Senators were to conduct themselves during the hearing. In the list of guidelines regarding reading materials, the joint letter reads that "reading materials should be confined to only those readings which pertain to the matter before the Senate."
The guidelines also stipulate that there would be "no use of phones or electronic devices allowed in the chamber," and that "all electronics should be left in the Cloakroom in the storage provided."
Additionally, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) communications director Justin Goodman mentioned in a social media post that Blackburn was seen doing a live interview on Fox News Tuesday while the impeachment trial was ongoing. This appears to also go against the hearing's guidelines, which read that "Senators should plan to be in attendance at all times during the proceedings."
Thursday marks the Senate impeachment trial's third day. The trial is expected to last at least two weeks, but could potentially last much longer. For President Donald Trump to be removed from office, two-thirds of the Republican-controlled Senate would be required to vote to convict Trump on the charges of obstruction and abuse of power.