The question was wrapped up in wider unpredictability about the Senates jurisdiction over Mr. Trump as soon as he leaves office. Some conservatives were pointing to the lack of precedent, and the Constitutions silence on the matter, to argue that the Senate had no right to sit in judgment of Mr. Trump after Wednesday.
Numerous legal scholars think that is enough precedent to do so with Mr. Trump, and in any case, they argue it is extremely not likely that the Supreme Court would challenge the Senates choice if a majority of the body were in favor of hearing the case.
Their case was as simple as it was extraordinary, and in a bizarre constitutional twist, they were battling with how to present it when both the prosecutors and the jury were witnesses and victims of the offense.
How a trial might work was showing to be simply as complicated.
When the Senate last met as a court of impeachment in February 2020, it was presided over by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. of the Supreme Court. But the Constitution specifies just that the chief justice need to oversee the case when an existing president is on trial, tossing into doubt who would lead the chamber this time around.
The task could possibly be left to the president of the Senate, which after Wednesday will be Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Or, if Ms. Harris does not want to become embroiled in the case during her first days in workplace, she could perhaps deliver the responsibility to the Senate president pro tempore, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont.
Other constitutional scholars argued that because the charge was lodged while Mr. Trump was still president, Chief Justice Roberts must administer once again.
When he leaves office, the question was covered up in wider unpredictability about the Senates jurisdiction over Mr. Trump. While previous federal government authorities have actually been pursued impeachable offenses, no former president has. Some conservatives were indicating the absence of precedent, and the Constitutions silence on the matter, to argue that the Senate had no right to sit in judgment of Mr. Trump after Wednesday.
That appears to be the minority view. The Senate did attempt President Ulysses S. Grants secretary of war in the 1870s, after he had already resigned. Numerous legal scholars think that is enough precedent to do so with Mr. Trump, and in any case, they argue it is extremely unlikely that the Supreme Court would challenge the Senates decision if a majority of the body favored hearing the case.
The primary justice decreased to discuss Friday through a Supreme Court spokesperson.
Senators and their aides were likewise attempting to identify how they could alter the physical design of the Senate chamber and presence requirements to run the trial safely during the pandemic. In the past, impeachment rules have required that all 100 senators sit at their desks inside the chamber whenever the trial is in session, and members of the prosecution and defense groups stuffed around curved tables set up in the well of the Senate. But doing so now with an airborne virus wrecking the nation– and the halls of Congress– would be hazardous.