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Senate sworn in as jurors for Trump impeachment trial

Senators were sworn in on Tuesday as jurors for former President TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE's impeachment trial, which is expected to start in roughly two weeks.

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySupreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda Shelby signals GOP can accept Biden's .5T with more for defense Bipartisan lawmakers want Biden to take tougher action on Nicaragua MORE (D-Vt.), who will preside over the Senate during the trial, swore in senators. Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyBiden's program for migrant children doesn't go far enough The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden support, gas tax questions remain on infrastructure 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll MORE (R-Iowa), who was previously president pro tem, swore in Leahy for his role.

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Underscoring the seriousness of the trial, senators stood at the desk to be sworn in. They then walked to the front of the chamber in groups to sign the oath book.

A Senate leadership aide noted that senators were going to the desk where they signed the oath book one by one to maintain a socially distanced line, and that they were using sanitized pens. 

The action came a day after the House impeachment article was delivered to the Senate.

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The House voted on a bipartisan basis earlier this month to impeach Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors for “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”

The historic vote made Trump the first U.S. president to be impeached twice and his impeachment trial will be the first after a president has left office.

The Senate is also expected to vote on Tuesday to sign off on a pretrial agreement reached by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP blocks voting rights bill Schumer, McConnell spar as GOP prepares to block voting bill Trump has 'zero desire' to be Speaker, spokesman says MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerWhite House draws ire of progressives amid voting rights defeat Murkowski to vote 'no' on voting rights bill Harris to preside over Senate for voting rights debate MORE (D-N.Y.), and agreed to by Trump's lawyers.

"We're going to be addressing that in great depth here beginning shortly," McConnell told reporters during a press conference, when asked about the trial.

Under a deal reached by Schumer and McConnell, the trial will start the week of Feb. 8.

In addition to senators being sworn in, under the agreement a summons will also be issued on Tuesday to Trump.

Trump's response to the article and House's pretrial brief will be due by Feb. 2, and Trump's pretrial brief will be due six days later.

The earliest the trial could start is Tuesday, Feb. 9, when the House's pretrial rebuttal is also due.