**UPDATE: PEN America has joined 57 other organizations in this open letter to Senate leadership opposing these egregious new rules.**

(Washington, DC) – The restrictions proposed by the Senate sergeant-at-arms and Capitol Police would establish unprecedented limitations on the Congressional press corps during President Trump’s imminent impeachment trial, PEN America said today.

“Moments of national crisis require credible and consistent reporting. Instead, Capitol Police and the sergeant-at-arms are jeopardizing press freedom and the public’s right to know,” said Thomas O. Melia, Washington director at PEN America. “This is no time to be limiting press access on Capitol Hill. These extreme limitations far surpass those applied during the Clinton impeachment trial or the contentious nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. These measures would obstruct the work of journalists covering the Senate. They constitute an unacceptable effort to block the free flow of information at a time when that information is necessary to the functioning of our democracy. Officials should reject these types of inappropriate limitations.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Stephen Fee, Director of Communications, [email protected], +1 202 309 8892