House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and the lead impeachment manager, read the articles in the chamber shortly after noon ET. Roberts was sworn in shortly after 2 p.m. ET. After Roberts swore in the senators, each member of the chamber came forward and signed the oath book on the floor of the Senate.
That evidence is likely to be incorporated into the House Democratic case against the President, which they will begin presenting next Tuesday when the substance of the trial gets underway. Democrats charge that Trump withheld the security aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine while pushing for an investigation into the Bidens.
On Thursday, the Senate dispensed with the ceremonial functions of the impeachment trial.
Next Tuesday, the Senate is expected to vote on a resolution setting the rules of the trial, and then arguments will get underway.
Pelosi said at her weekly press conference Thursday that Senate Republicans are “afraid of the truth,” when asked what her response is to Senate Republicans who say they shouldn’t have to consider new evidence like the Parnas material because it wasn’t included in the House investigation.
“They don’t want to see documents, they don’t want to hear from eyewitnesses,” Pelosi said. “They want to ignore anything new that comes up.”
McConnell has rejected the Democratic demands, saying the question of witnesses should be taken up after the House and the President’s legal team make their opening arguments. Republicans are expected to pass the rules to put off the question of witnesses without Democratic votes.
McConnell on Thursday criticized Pelosi on the Senate floor for distributing souvenir pens while signing the impeachment articles on Wednesday.
“Nothing says seriousness and sobriety like handing out souvenirs, as though this were a happy bill-signing instead of the gravest process in our Constitution,” he said.
This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.