News organizations and journalists’ advocates are battling restrictive new ground rules for reporters assigned to cover the Senate impeachment trial.
Correspondents who submit to an official credentialing process are granted broad access throughout the Capitol complex and usually encounter few restrictions in talking with members of Congress or others.
But now Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger has imposed new requirements for the impeachment trial, negotiated in part with Republican leadership:
Reporters are being confined to small cordoned-off sections of areas where unrestricted access was typically standard. They are being prevented from walking with senators to continue conversations — even when the senator involved is willingly participating.
Reporters also now may not approach senators for interviews in the halls surrounding the Senate chamber.
Taken together, the new rules effectively prevent members of the press from reaching many senators. [Continue reading…]