At a few minutes after noon, Jan. 16, the House impeachment managers read out the articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Broadcast and cable outlets dropped regular programming to carry the reading of the charges live and were likely to do so at 2 p.m. when Chief Justice John Roberts is sworn in (he will preside over the trail) and then swears the Senators in.
They did so the in the Senate chamber, with an audience warned solemnly that they must keep quite "on pain of imprisonment."
During the reading of the first article--abuse of power--chief manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the President had used the power of his office to solicit the interference of Ukraine in the 2020 presidential election by publicly announcing investigations that would help his re-election. Schiff said the President used his powers corruptly for his own benefit, and in the process undermined the democratic process and injured the interests of the nation.
Schiff said the President would be a threat to national security if allowed to continue as President.
During the reading of article two--obstruction of Congress--Schiff said the President had directed the categorical denial of congressional subpoenas in subversion of the Constitution and had directed that potential witnesses not testify, thus interfering with Congress' investigation.
The Senate trial will begin next Tuesday (Jan. 21).
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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.