Donald Trump’s impeachment trial began on Thursday in high ceremony and amid vicious political division – as outside the Senate a series of new bombshells exploded in the Ukraine scandal.
At 2.10pm, John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States, was sworn in.
The president pro-tempore administered the oath, Chuck Grassley, said: ‘Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, President of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice, according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?’
‘I do,’ Roberts replied, his left hand on a Bible.
Then he turned to the senators and invited them to do the same.
All 100 stood and said, ‘I do.’ They were then invited to come forward in fours to sign the Book of Oaths, confirming their commitment to impartial justice.
The first article of impeachment accuses Trump of an ‘abuse of power’ while the second says he obstructed Congress.
‘President Trump put his own personal interests above the national interests, Schiff said. ”And if not stopped, he will do it again.’ ‘
The appropriate remedy, indeed the only remedy, is the conviction and removal from office of Pres. Donald Trump,’ Schiff urged.
Upon the reading of the second article, obstruction of Congress, Schiff reminded his audience that, ‘In the history of the Republic, no president has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry, or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively, the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate high crimes and misdemeanors.’