The Senate got the formalities of President Trump's impeachment trial started Thursday, though the real work of the trial is not expected to start until next week. At noon, House impeachment managers read the two articles of impeachment against Trump, formally beginning the third such trial in US history. Afterward, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was sworn in to preside over the trial, and he in turn swore in the senators as jurors. (Only 99, however: Republican James Inhofe was absent because of a family medical issue.) All this as related developments—including a government watchdog assessment critical of Trump's withholding of Ukraine aid and allegations by a Rudy Giuliani associate—continue to emerge. Coverage:
- The trial: Expect the Senate be in session six days a week once things get rolling. There's no timetable on how long it will last, notes Rolling Stone, though White House adviser Kellyanne Conway predicted two weeks during an appearance on Fox News Thursday. “These two articles are very weak,” she said, per the Washington Post. “We don’t see the need to have a lengthy, protracted trial.”
- McSally's slam: GOP Sen. Martha McSally tweeted a video of herself shutting down CNN reporter Manu Raju when he asked her before the trial began whether the Senate should consider new evidence. “You’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you,” McSally said. “You’re not going to comment?” Raju asked. “You’re a liberal hack,” McSally responded. The senator is taking flak from those defending a journalist's right to ask what seemed to be a straightforward question, notes Mediaite, which has examples.