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If a senator has not attended the trial or was not paying attention while at the trial, can that senator still show up on the day of the vote on the verdict and cast a vote?

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    "Not paying attention while there" is a trivial "yes". There's no real way to compel someone to pay attention, as many teachers have bemoaned. Even if you ban any distractions (like phones), people can just tune out while staring at something. The rest of this question is interesting, though. – Bobson Feb 11 at 23:41
  • They swore an oath. Not paying attention shows you how serious they take it. The only thing that can be done is not re-elect them, but the public tends to decide their votes based on other reasons. – Aganju Feb 12 at 4:55
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Do senators have to attend an impeachment trial in order to be allowed to vote on the verdict?

No. There are only a few cases where Senators need be present.

Attendance of Senators at Impeachment Trial

The Senate may direct the Sergeant at Arms to request and subsequently to compel the attendance of the absent Senators, a quorum not having appeared on a call.

  • To ask questions of witnesses or counsel and hear their responses.

  • To raise objections and vote on decisions made by the presiding officer. (May involve a quorum call.)

  • To vote on the articles of impeachment.

See also Are all U.S. Senators required to attend the impeachment trial?


If a senator has not attended the trial or was not paying attention while at the trial, can that senator still show up on the day of the vote on the verdict and cast a vote?

If a Senator was present for the oath or affirmation and has not been excused from voting, the Senator may vote on the articles of impeachment without regard to their prior attendance.

A Senator may be Excused from Participation in Trial or from Voting. Some Senators have requested excusal from the impeachment trial, due to conflicts; others from the vote, due to absence from the proceedings.

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