Impeachment: Nets Blanket Roberts' Arrival to Preside Over Trial

The political, and thus media coverage, agenda has been teed up for the Senate trial of President Donald Trump. 

After being sworn in to preside over the trial Thursday (Jan. 16), then swearing in the Senators, who will hear evidence presented by House impeachment managers, Chief Justice John Roberts adjourned the Senate until Tuesday, 1 p.m. (Jan. 21), when the trial of the President will begin. 

Related: Rep. Schiff Delivers Articles of Impeachment to Senate

As expected, the major broadcast and cable news operations covered both swearing-in ceremonies live as they prepare to chronicle only the third impeachment trial of a President in U.S. history, and the first one that will be widely streamed. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) laid out what could and would be happening, procedurally between now and Tuesday. 

The President will have until until 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, to answer the charges--abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and, if he wants to file a trial brief, must do it by noon Monday, Jan. 20. The House, whose impeachment managers are prosecuting the case against the President, can rebut his brief, have only until noon Tuesday to do so. 

While it is not clear whether witnesses will make an appearance at the trial--which White House officials have said should not last more than two weeks--likely making an unusual appearance on in the Senate Chamber could be TV sets on which to display video evidence. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.