Trump impeachment trial begins in Senate

The historic impeachment trial of Donald Trump opened Thursday in the US Senate, as lawmakers took a solemn oath to be 'impartial' in deciding whether to force the 45th US President from office.For just the third time in American history, the hushed Senate chamber was transformed into a court of impeachment, presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who administered the oath to senators.

When Roberts, clad in a black robe, asked if they swore to deliver 'impartial justice' according to the US Constitution, the 99 lawmakers present -- one was absent -- responded in unison, with right hands raised: 'I do.'Earlier in the day, in a deeply symbolic moment, the two articles of impeachment -- charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress -- were read out on the Senate floor.'Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye,' Senate Sergeant of Arms Michael Stenger said, commanding senators to 'keep silent, on pain of imprisonment.' Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who will serve as lead prosecutor for the trial, read the charges accusing Trump of 'high crimes and misdemeanors.'