Impeachment trial of President Trump
The Senate has drafted a document on decorum guidelines for the impeachment trial, including rules that senators — who will be serving as jurors — must follow.
John Roberts, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, will preside over the trial, and senators have been told they must be in attendance for all proceedings.
Here are a few of the rules mentioned in the guidelines:
- They must be quiet: "Members should refrain from speaking to neighboring senators while the case is being presented."
- They can't have their phones: "No use of phones or electronic devices will be allowed in the Chamber."
- They have to call Roberts by this title: During the course of the proceedings the Chief Justice should be referred to as "Mr. Chief Justice."
- When they vote, they must stand: "Should votes be required during the proceedings, Senators will stand and vote from their seats."
A day after senators were sworn in for President Trump's impeachment trial, the chamber is in recess.
They'll be out Monday, too, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They're scheduled to come back at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, when arguments in the trial are expected to begin.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discussed the schedule for the impeachment trial of President Trump yesterday afternoon.
McConnell provided the deadlines for briefs that can be filed on behalf of the President and House.
- Tomorrow, by 5 p.m. ET: The House of Representatives can file a trial brief with the secretary of the Senate before this date and time.
- Monday, by noon: Deadline for when the President can file a trial brief.
- Tuesday, by noon: Deadline for the House to file a rebuttal brief.
"I ask unanimous consent that in recognition of the unique requirements raised by the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, President of the United States, the sergeant of arms shall install appropriate equipment and furniture in the Senate chamber during all times that the senate is sitting for trial with the chief justice of the United States presiding," McConnell said.
The Senate has adjourned until 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, when the formal trial will begin.
While the ultimate outcome of the impeachment trial seems predetermined — it's very hard to see 67 senators voting for President Trump's removal — that doesn't mean the way we get from here to there doesn't matter and won't be potentially politically consequential.
While 67 votes are necessary to remove Trump, the rules governing the proceedings — including on the question of whether witnesses should be called — are determined by a simple majority. Which means that any coalition of 51 senators can overrule the wishes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and, by extension, Trump.
With that in mind, here's a look at eight senators to keep an eye on as the trial wears on:
- Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee
- Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine
- Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa
- Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado
- Doug Jones, a Democrat from Alabama
- Martha McSally, a Republican from Arizona
- Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska
- Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah