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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 TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE's impeachment trial, which is expected to start in roughly two weeks.

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session COVID-19 relief debate stalls in Senate amid Democratic drama First Black secretary of Senate sworn in MORE (D-Vt.), who will preside over the Senate during the trial, swore in senators. Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyWhite House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks National Sheriffs' Association backs Biden pick for key DOJ role 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 McConnellBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor 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.