Senate to accept articles Thursday as Trump impeachment trial set to begin


Stephen Emlund/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The Senate is expected to officially accept the articles of impeachment Thursday, after they were handed off by key members of the House late Wednesday, officially triggering the third presidential impeachment trial in presidential history.House managers, who were officially revealed on Wednesday, will read the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in the Senate chamber sometime in the afternoon, with House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff taking a lead role.After the articles are “exhibited” — or read into the record — it is expected that Chief Justice John Roberts will travel from the Supreme Court to be sworn in to preside over the Senate impeachment trial. Roberts will be sworn in by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, the president pro tempore — the highest ranking senator who presides over the Senate in the absence of the vice president.Once Roberts is sworn in, it’s expected that he will swear in all 100 senators.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier in the week that he expects the Senate impeachment trial to kick off in earnest on Tuesday, Jan. 21.All senators are expected to be in attendance for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last at least two to three weeks, according to several senators.According to the trial decorum guidelines, when Roberts arrives every single day, senators will have to “silently rise” at their desks and remain standing until Roberts takes his seat.Senators are expected to do the same when Roberts leaves the chamber every day, as well.Senators will have to refrain from speaking to their neighboring senators in the chamber and will have to remain seated throughout the duration of the trial every day.Cellphones and other electronic devices will not be allowed in the chamber — senators and any staff allowed inside will be asked to keep their devices in a separate room outside the chamber.Senators will have to refer to Roberts as “Mr. Chief Justice.”The House voted Wednesday afternoon to formally send the impeachment charges against Trump.The House resolution officially appointed the seven managers, named by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday morning, who will act as prosecutors presenting the Democrats’ case.”This is a very important day for us,” Pelosi said Wednesday.”Time has been our friend in all this,” she added, noting what she called the new “incriminating” evidence that has surfaced in the month since the House impeachment vote on Dec. 18, including new documents and other evidence from Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.Schiff said the new evidence, revealed by the House just Tuesday night, must be considered by the Senate.It’s undecided at this point if the Senate will hear from witnesses or consider new evidence during the trial.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.