Apple’s top lawyer suffers iPad Pro failure at worst possible time

Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell suffered an iPad disaster during his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee today, and it couldn’t have happened at a worse moment.

As Sewell read his introductory statement from his iPad Pro, the Apple lawyer’s tablet appeared to crash or become unusable, forcing him to resort to his backup plan: a three-ring binder with good old paper printouts.

It’s unclear from the GIF above what the malfunction actually was. Some folks on Twitter have guessed that maybe the iPad Pro’s auto-lock timer kicked on and Sewell didn’t want to enter his long passcode. Or maybe he just shouldn’t have trusted Microsoft Word.

The iPad Pro has quickly become a popular tablet among Apple execs. Tim Cook said he only takes the iPad Pro with him when traveling. Several execs were also spotted using it in a 60 Minutes video that showed Apple’s weekly leadership meeting.

Sewell spent Tuesday afternoon testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on the balance of privacy and security. FBI Director James Comey appeared before the committee this morning to give the bureau’s take on the legal battle that has pitted Apple against the FBI.

The high-stakes standoff over privacy gathered steam after a federal court ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock an iPhone owned by Syed Farook, the shooter who killed 14 people last year in San Bernardino, California.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has staunchly refused to comply with the court order, saying that doing so would undermine the security built into every iPhone. Security advocates and many tech execs have taken Apple’s side in the controversy, while law enforcement officials, the remaining Republican presidential candidates and more than 50 percent of average Americans back the FBI’s position.

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