Washington, D.C. - The United States senators took their oath of office before Supreme Court Justice John Roberts on Thursday as the impeachment trial against President Trump gets underway. Four of those senators are running against him in the 2020 presidential election, raising questions about if and how they can be "impartial jurors" as they pledged to be in that constitutional oath.
Some Republicans, including Sen. Marsha Blackburn (TN), say the responsible thing for them to do is recuse themselves from the trial entirely. Democrats differ.
"Whether you are a presidential candidate or not, senators know what our responsibilities are to the Constitution," Hirono insisted to Townhall on Thursday after the swearing-in ceremony.
What Hirono really wants to see, she continued, is the president to offer a comprehensive defense as to why he should not be impeached. She's sick of hearing him dismiss the process as a "witch hunt."
"I hope Sen. McConnell will allow us to have a full and fair trial," Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) told a gaggle of reporters at the Senate on Thursday.
"This president has used his power for political purposes," Sanders added.
But, while senators now have the responsibility of the trial, there's still the issue of legislating. The senator said that he and his colleagues can't forget about the millions of Americans who can't afford their prescription drugs or other health care.
"What the Congress of the United States needs to do is chew bubble gum and walk at the same time," Sanders said. "We've got to deal with this impeachment trial," he said, but not forget about the other "serious problems" facing the country.
A reporter then asked Sanders if he was worried about how this trial would affect his campaign.
"Yeah, I am," he admitted. "I would rather be in Iowa today. There's a caucus there in two and a half weeks. I'd rather be in New Hampshire and Nevada."
But, he swore an oath as a senator, he noted, and he plans to stay put.
The seven, newly designated impeachment managers presented the articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, to the Senate Thursday morning.
Here's how the president reacted.
I JUST GOT IMPEACHED FOR MAKING A PERFECT PHONE CALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2020
The Senate impeachment trial will begin Tuesday, January 21 at 1 p.m.