Heinrich Says Draconian Restrictions On Capitol Press During Impeachment Trial Should be Modified

WASHINGTON (Jan. 21, 2020) – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) sent a letter to U.S. Sergeant at Arms (SAA) Michael C. Stenger calling for the restoration of standard Capitol press access after new rules have drastically inhibited members of the press from covering the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump.

“Preventing credentialed reporters from moving freely around the Capitol and confining them to roped-off areas limits their ability to interview lawmakers about the impeachment proceedings,” Heinrich wrote. “These restrictions are antithetical to a free press, good governance, and the ability of the public to be fully informed about what we as elected leaders do in their name.”

Read the full letter below, or by clicking HERE.

Dear Mr. Stenger,

I am writing to express my extreme concern and discomfort about limitations placed on members of the press covering the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump.  The Framers well understood the importance of a free press to the preservation of democracy and enshrined the Freedom of the Press in the First Amendment.  To place limitations on the press is to place limitations on the American people’s ability to learn about the character and conduct of their elected leaders. 

Preventing credentialed reporters from moving freely around the Capitol and confining them to roped-off areas limits their ability to interview lawmakers about the impeachment proceedings. These restrictions are antithetical to a free press, good governance, and the ability of the public to be fully informed about what we as elected leaders do in their name.

The American people expect and deserve a level of transparency and access to information about their government.  The draconian restrictions placed on the Capitol press corps for the impeachment trial should be modified in a way that better balances access and security. Hindering a free and open press is a disservice to the public, and further undermines a fair process that is reflective of our American values.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. 

Sincerely,