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Klobuchar: Severe press restrictions for impeachment trial would be ‘a big mistake’

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Rules Committee, on Tuesday said that she doesn’t support severe press restrictions that are being anticipated for the upcoming Senate impeachment trial.

Members of the press planning to cover the historic events are set to be confined to a single area on the second floor of the building, while access around the Senate subway is also set to be curtailed.

In an interview with CBS’s Ed O’Keefe following Tuesday’s Democratic debate in Des Moines, the Minnesota senator said that she had spoken with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the chairman of the committee, about the restrictions.

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“No, I don’t support it, and I have been in contact with both sides on this issue,” the senator said. “I made it very clear, I talked to Sen. Blunt about this, I think we should have open access for the press.”

“They tried this one other time, when Sen. [Richard] Shelby [R-Ala.] was heading up the Rules Committee, when they tried to restrict the press … and I opposed it. I was very outspoken,” she added.

Klobuchar is the first 2020 candidate to comment on the issue after the Standing Committee of Correspondents, an organization that advocates for Senate reporters, issued a statement earlier in the day blasting the proposed press restrictions.

“Capitol Hill is one of the most accessible places in Washington, but the proposed restrictions exceed those put in place during the State of the Union, Inauguration Day, or even during the Clinton impeachment trial 20 years ago,” read the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

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