WASHINGTON (KLAS) — The chief justice of the United States and 100 United States senators were sworn in Thursday afternoon for President Trump’s impeachment trial.
Chief Justice John Roberts arrived Thursday at the U.S. Senate to preside over the trial, ready to swear in the senators with an oath to ensure “impartial justice” as jurors for only the third such proceeding in American. history.
“Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye!” said the Senate’s sergeant at arms, calling the proceedings to order at noon.
Senators filled the chamber, sitting silently at their seats under strict trial rules that prohibit talking or cellphones, as the ceremonial protocol shifted the proceedings out of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic-run House to the Republican-majority Senate.
Chief Justice Roberts made the short trip across the street from the Supreme Court before being ushered to the Senate chamber. He was sworn in himself before administering the oath it to the senators.
The Constitution mandates the chief justice serve as the presiding officer. Roberts, who has long insisted judges are not politicians, is expected to serve as a referee for the proceedings rather than an active participant. Senators will ultimately render the verdict.
The Senate opened the impeachment trial at the start of the election year as Trump seeks another term, a test not only of his presidency but also of the nation’s three branches of power and its system of checks and balances. Several senators are running for the Democratic Party’s nomination to challenge Trump in November.
Earlier Thursday, House Democrats prosecuting the case stood before the Senate and formally read the articles of impeachment against Trump.
To read more about when house leaders marched the articles of impeachment to the Senate, go here.
The United States Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 for the trial.
The Associated Press contributed in the writing of this report.