Trial of Donald Trump kicks off as lawmakers take solemn oath to be "impartial" in deciding whether to force 45th US president from office.
Members of the US Senate were sworn in on Thursday to serve as jurors at the historic impeachment trial of President Donald Trump that would resume next week on Tuesday.
US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial, administered the oath to the senators who will decide whether the 45th president should be removed from office.
"Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws, so help you God," Roberts said.
Senators in the chamber responded, "I do." They then individually signed a book affirming their oath.
The 99 senators present signed their assent one by one.
One senator, Republican Jim Inhofe, was in his home state of Oklahoma to be with a family member facing a medical issue, according to his office but was due to sign later in the day.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, then adjourned the proceedings and said the trial would resume at 1 pm (1800 GMT) on Tuesday.
Earlier charges against Trump were read out on the US Senate floor as the historic impeachment trial got under way.
"In his conduct of the office of president of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional oath ... Donald J Trump has abused the powers of the presidency," Representative Adam Schiff said as he began reading from the first article of impeachment.
Trump "is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanours," added Schiff, who is one of the House managers tasked with prosecuting the case against the president.
"Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election," Schiff added.
'It's a hoax'
The formal proceedings carry deep historical significance, as it marks only the third time an impeachment trial has been held for a US president.
"A chill ran down my spine when Schiff said the words 'high crimes and misdemeanors.' Heavy times," tweeted Democrat Senator Chris Murphy after leaving the chamber.
The Senate is expected to acquit Trump, as none of its 53 Republicans has voiced support for removing him, a step that requires a two-thirds majority. Trump has denied wrongdoing and has called the impeachment process a sham.
The president’s team expects acquittal with a Senate trial lasting no more than two weeks, according to senior administration officials. That would be far shorter than the trial of President Bill Clinton, in 1999, or the first one, of President Andrew Johnson, in 1868. Both were acquitted.
On Thursday, Trump predicted that his impeachment trial will not take long and again dismissed the abuse of power charges against him as "a hoax."
"I think it should go very quickly," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
"It's totally partisan," Trump said. "It's a hoax. It's a hoax and everybody knows it's a complete hoax."