Senators were sworn in Tuesday as Congress’s upper chamber prepared for the second impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
With a quorum in the Senate, the Senate proceeded to swear in the chamber to serve as jurors for Trump’s second impeachment trial.
Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), the president pro tempore of the Senate, will preside over Trump’s trial.
The trial could begin as early as February 9; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) negotiated the terms.
The House impeachment managers delivered the one article of impeachment Monday evening, which means the Senate must hold a trial against the former president.
The article of impeachment charges Trump incited an insurrection, in which they blame the president for the deadly riot that occurred at the Capitol building on January 6. The riot interrupted Congress’ move to certify the 2020 presidential election results.
Democrats have a high mark to impeach the president; they must obtain 17 votes from Republicans votes to convict the president of inciting an insurrection, assuming all 50 Senate Democrats vote to convict him.
Although some Republicans have placed partial blame on the president for the January 6 riots, many Senate Republicans remain concerned about creating a precedent in which Congress can impeach a former president.
For instance, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said she remains concerned impeaching a former president could be used as a political tool for revenge against a member of the opposite party.
She said in a statement Tuesday:
Over the coming weeks, I will have the opportunity to listen to the arguments for and against convicting a former president — and as always, I will hear from my fellow Iowans on the matter. My concern right now is that the president is no longer in office. Congress would be opening itself to a dangerous standard of using impeachment as a tool for political revenge against a private citizen, and the only remedy at this point is to strip the convicted of their ability to run for future office — a move that would undoubtedly strip millions of voters of their ability to choose a candidate in the next election.
“As we go through this process, I urge every member of the Senate to keep in mind what is best for our nation, and ultimately what will bring us together, not further divide,” she added.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.