“We respectfully request that when the Senate begins the impeachment trial of President Trump on February 9th, you allow C-SPAN to position our camera in the Senate Chamber to cover these proceedings,” Susan Swain, President, and CEO of C-SPAN wrote representing the network to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Swain explained that it is pretty important to cover the impeachment process in the Senate. Under the Senate guideline, Senate Recording Studio usually provides the feed of Senate floor debates in a limited view. Though Swain explained she hopes Schumer agrees with her and many others’ opinion that the “American public deserves a more comprehensive view of this historic Senate trial.”
The statement summed: “We hope you give serious consideration to our request. However, if you decide against allowing our cameras in the chamber, we ask that you give the Senate Recording Studio permission to provide isolated feeds of their Senate cameras to the media. This will allow the television networks and C-SPAN to produce a more complete record of the trial.”
The Senate impeachment trial of the former president is a first-of-its-kind and controversial proceeding, as legal scholars have shown mixed views regarding its constitutionality.
Commonly, private news media cameras are permitted to cover speeches at some notable events, such as the State of the Union Address and Joint Meetings of Congress. Though the second impeachment is so historical, millions of Americans are extremely curious about it, greater media access is surely necessary, the C-SPAN CEO explained.
Many constitutional scholars are claiming that the trial is unconstitutional, because impeachment is for current officeholders, and since Trump had already left office, the Senate’s jurisdiction—or power—to hold an impeachment trial expired on Jan. 20. Some others believe the Constitution only implies yet does not declare that impeachment is for current officeholders.
Swain explained that C-SPAN has been covering congressional events for over 40 years, they are willing to work for congressional staff in any aspect, and C-SPAN would present feed to any Congress accredited media who are in need of the feed.
Many think that the impeachment will not succeed in the Senate, as in a vote on constitutionality last Wednesday, barely 55 senators said it’s constitutional. It requires 67 votes to convict a president.
Swain hopes Schumer will consider her request, or grant the Senate Recording Studio permission to provide C-SPAN a separate feed if Schumer decides not to have C-SPAN’s cameras on the floor of the Senate.
Senator Schumer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.