WASHINGTON D.C. – The next steps in the historic trial to impeach President Donald Trump start today.
Today, the Senate will formally accept two articles for impeachment accusing the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He is now the third sitting president to be tried in the Senate.
The first of two Senate sessions will get underway later today. It’s all ceremonial.
First, the House impeachment managers will present the articles to the Senate. The House impeachment managers are the Democrats chosen to present the House case during the Senate trial. That is expected to happen at 12 p.m. Thursday. They will read the articles out loud in the Senate.
This is the list of managers: Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Jerry Nadler, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Val Demings, Rep. Jason Crow, and Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas.
After that, around 2 p.m., Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will be sworn in, along with the Senate who will stand as the jury.
Then they’ll sign what’s called the impeachment trial “oath book” and then issue a summons to President Trump.
These are just the initial and ceremonial steps before the full trial starts next Tuesday.
At this point it isn’t clear how the trial will be structured,
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he wants to run the trial similar to President Clinton’s trial in 1999.
We’re not yet sure if witnesses will be included after opening statements.
The Senate is expected to pass a resolution today, but nothing has been set in stone yet.
When the trial gets underway, it will be the first time we hear from the president’s defense team.
Our Republican lawmakers from Indiana tell us they welcome the chance to hear from witnesses.
“All along, I’ve said that I’m okay with that as long as it’s reciprocal,” Republican Sen. Mike Braun said.
“Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders have already said if the Democrats call witnesses the Republicans will call witnesses too, and that would likely include Hunter Biden, Adam Schiff and others who have drug this country through the mud,” Republican Rep. Jim Banks said.
In order for the Senate to convict President Trump it would need a two-thirds vote. Many people believe this will be tough to do considering the Republicans hold the majority in the Senate.
Again much of today is ceremonial—the meat of the impeachment trial gets underway next Tuesday.