Donald Trump’s impeachment trial began Thursday in high ceremony and amid vicious political division.
At 12.05pm, five minutes late, the seven House Democratic impeachment managers arrived at the Senate to formally read the articles of impeachment – and kick off President Trump’s trial.
The Senate Sergeant at Arms James Mathers proclaimed: ‘Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye, all persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States articles of impeachment.’
Then Adam Schiff, the lead Democratic impeachment manager began to read the resolution from Congress which impeaches ‘Donald John Trump.’
The Senate was silent as Schiff stood in the well of the chamber.
Later Thursday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will arrive at the chamber and be sworn in so he can preside over the trial, which will being in earnest on Tuesday, once Congress returns from the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Roberts will then swear in members of the Senate as jurors.
Trump’s impeachment trial begins as the president can tout back-to-back victories on trade.
On Wednesday he signed phase one of a trade deal with China. On Thursday, before the House impeachment managers arrived, the Senate voted to approve his U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal in a bipartisan way. Best of luck!