Trump’s Senate impeachment trial begins

Senate conducts ceremonial functions of the impeachment trial before actual arguments get underway next Tuesday.

Ben Ariel ,

Chief Justice John Roberts swears in senators at start of impeachment trial
Chief Justice John Roberts swears in senators at start of impeachment trial
Reuters

US President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial began on Thursday with the reading of the impeachment articles and the swearing in of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and the senators who will decide whether Trump should be removed from office.

The Senate conducted its ceremonial functions of the impeachment trial on Thursday before the actual arguments get underway next Tuesday.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and the lead impeachment manager, read the articles aloud in the chamber while senators looked on from their desks, reported CNN.

Roberts was sworn in shortly several hours later. After Roberts swore in the senators, each present member of the chamber came forward and signed the oath book on the floor of the Senate.

The House impeachment managers began the proceedings by reading aloud the two articles of impeachment on the floor of the Senate. The articles, charging the President with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, were delivered to the Senate on Wednesday.

The Senate officially issued a summons to the President after senators were sworn in to notify him of the trial, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) set up a series of deadlines for trial briefs to be filed by both the House impeachment managers and the President's legal team.

The trial is set to resume on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. ET, McConnell said, at which point the Senate is likely to take up a resolution setting the rules of the trial. Then arguments will get underway.

The trial is only beginning this week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi withheld the formal sending of the articles for four weeks after the House voted on them, as Democrats pushed for Republicans to agree to calling witnesses and obtaining new documents for the trial.

Pelosi said at her weekly press conference Thursday that Senate Republicans are "afraid of the truth," when asked what her response is to Senate Republicans who say they shouldn't have to consider new evidence which wasn't included in the House investigation.

"They don't want to see documents, they don't want to hear from eyewitnesses," Pelosi said. "They want to ignore anything new that comes up."

McConnell has rejected the Democratic demands, saying the question of witnesses should be taken up after the House and the President's legal team make their opening arguments.



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