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Senators sworn in ahead of upcoming impeachment trial

Former President Donald Trump
Posted at 5:08 AM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 15:24:23-05

Senators on Tuesday were sworn as jurors in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

The swearing-in, which took place in a Senate session early Tuesday afternoon, comes just hours after a Monday evening ceremony where House impeachment managers walked an article of impeachment through the U.S. Capitol to the Senate chamber to present them formally to Senate leadership.

While Senators are now sworn in as jurors, the impeachment trial won't get underway until the week of Feb. 8. Instead, Senators will first consider confirming President Joe Biden's cabinet appointments and negotiate a COVID-19 stimulus package.

The House impeached Trump for a second time on Jan. 13, a week after his supporters stormed the Capitol in riots that left five people dead. The House formally accused Trump of inciting an insurrection.

Unlike Trump's first impeachment trial in early 2020, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts will not preside over the proceedings. The Constitution only requires that the chief justice presides over the impeachment trial of a sitting president.

Because Trump has since left office, the longest-serving member of the majority party — in this case, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont — will preside.

Sen. Rand Paul later rose to object to the impeachment trial on the basis that Trump is now a private citizen, and that Leahy's appointment as the presider indicates Trump is being impeached as a private citizen. Paul's objection was later defeated in a roll-call vote.