GOP senators turn to 'fidget spinner' toys during Trump impeachment trial

Fidget Spinner. Several colorful fidget spinners on a stainless steel plate
Copyright MarianVejcik Getty Images/iStockphoto
Copyright MarianVejcik Getty Images/iStockphoto
By Adam Edelman and Garrett Haake and Leigh Ann Caldwell with NBC News Politics
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Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., handed out the popular toys to several of his fellow senators.


Restless senators, sitting through endless hours of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, now have an outlet: Fidget spinners.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., handed out the toys to several of his fellow senators in the chamber before Thursday's trial proceedings got underway.

A fidget spinner is a small toy with a ball bearingat its center that can be used to play with between the fingers.

They have become especially popular in recent years and have prompted a collection of YouTube videos on how to perform tricks with them. The fidget spinners, which are sold for a couple of dollars each, have been promoted as toys that can reduce anxiety and help users focus.

Burr was seen playing with a blue one while listening to arguments by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., an impeachment manager.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., was spotted with a purple one on his desk, while Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., had a white one on his desk, although neither senator was seen playing with the toys.

The presence of the toys could be a violation of Senate rules that senators must sit silently and listen to arguments during an impeachment trial.

Other senators kept busy in different ways.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., appeared to be either drawing or tracing a sketch of the U.S. Capitol, and Sen. Marsha Blackburn was spotted reading a book and underlining a passage in it.

However, it wouldn't be the first time during the first days of the trial that senators appeared to break those rules.

During Wednesday's proceedings, some senators milled around during arguments by lead manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Paul wasspottedwith a hidden crossword puzzle in his papers. There also appeared to be a Sudoku game on the page. Others, however, paid close attention and took careful notes.

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