Jan 16, 2020

Trump impeachment trial opens with "impartial justice" oath

John Roberts swears in members of the Senate for the impeachment trial against President Trump. Photo: Senate Television via AP

We're about to get our first impeachment trial in HD, but the rules and procedures are like entering a time capsule.

Driving the news: Senators sat quietly in their seats while Rep. Adam Schiff read the articles aloud.

  • They stood as a group while Chief Justice John Roberts was sworn in, and they remained standing as he swore them in.
  • Reporters were forced back to paper notebooks, since they aren't allowed to bring any technology such as phones or laptops into the Senate chamber.

Between the lines: For the next few weeks, the Senate will be an extremely different institution — with consequences that extend to the Democratic presidential primaries.

  • Starting at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar will be busy on Capitol Hill, with Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg free to barnstorm Iowa.
  • Sanders would "rather be in Iowa today," he told Politico. "There’s a caucus there in two-and-a-half weeks. I’d rather be in New Hampshire and Nevada. But I swore a constitutional oath as a U.S. senator to do my job.”

What's next:

  • House briefs due 5 p.m. Saturday.
  • Trump's briefs due 12 p.m. Monday.
  • House reply due 12 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Opening arguments begin 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Go deeper: Watch Chief Justice John Roberts swear in senators

Go deeper

What matters: Trump trial edition

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/Getty Contributor

Yes, we know how this is going to end. But some developments along the way to President Trump’s acquittal will matter more than others and leave a lasting impact long after the trial ends.

The big picture: We’re all going to be flooded with information and distractions over the course of the trial. Here’s what deserves your attention.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 22, 2020

Chief Justice John Roberts swears in senators for impeachment trial

After being sworn in by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered an oath for all senators to deliver "impartial justice" in the impeachment trial of President Trump.

Go deeperArrowJan 16, 2020

Trump impeachment trial schedule: What’s coming this week

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

What to expect:

  • Trump's briefs are due 12 p.m. Monday.
  • House managers' reply is due 12 p.m. Tuesday.
  • The Senate reconvenes at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Shortly after that, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to deliver brief remarks on impeachment.
  • The Senate impeachment trial reconvenes at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Go deeperArrowJan 19, 2020