Senate sworn in as jurors for Trump impeachment trial

Senators were sworn in on Tuesday as jurors for former President Trump’s impeachment trial, which is expected to start in roughly two weeks.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who will preside over the Senate during the trial, swore in senators. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who was previously president pro tem, swore in Leahy for his role.

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.

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 McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (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.

Tags Capitol breach Charles Schumer Chuck Grassley Donald Trump Impeachment Mitch McConnell Patrick Leahy
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