By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With the impeachment trial likely starting Tuesday, the schedule for Congress and the Democratic Presidential campaign will be upended.

There are a number of unknowns about the upcoming impeachment trial. We don’t know yet if there will be witnesses and we don’t know how long the trial will last.

We do know it will substantially alter Congressional schedules and the schedules for some of those running for President. Senators are the trial’s jurors and they are required to sit through the trial in silence, listing to arguments and any potential testimony.

Four Senators who are running for President, Senators Michael Bennett, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will have to quit the campaign trail during the trial.

Senator Klobuchar says she will send surrogates including her husband and daughter to states like Iowa where the nation’s first caucus is just two weeks away. As for other Senators, they will change their schedules to be at the trial before they take the vote on whether to remove the President from office.

Minnesota Senator Tina Smith was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“I swore an oath to provide impartial justice and my job is to make sure that trial is fair,” said Sen. Smith. “I want to make sure that the rules are set up so that Americans can see this trial is fair.”

A handful of Republican Senators are expected to join a Democratic push for witnesses but it’s not clear if that will succeed. What does appear clearer, at least at this point, is the outcome of the impeachment trial.

A 2/3 majority is required to remove the President from office and with Republicans outnumbering Democrats in the Senate 53 to 47 that appears highly unlikely to happen.

Esme Murphy

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