Chief Justice John Roberts is expected not to weigh in heavily during the question and answer phase of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
As the trial moves to the new phase on Wednesday, Roberts has the option of "inserting himself" into the process to rule on questions or other matters, according to Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram.
But sources told the Fox News reporter that Roberts will follow the model of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist who presided over President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999.
Under the Senate rules, measures that do not receive a majority of votes fail. So if a Senate vote of witnesses was tied 50-50, the measure would not pass. Roberts could choose to break the tie but he is not expected to do so.
Read Pergram's preview of the question and answer session below.
1) Fox is told to expect a “short-ish” session today in the Senate trial as the President’s defense team likely wra… https://t.co/to6IfCOkbT— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230139.0
2) Trial Q&A section works like this: The Majority and Minority toggle back and forth between the sides, posting wr… https://t.co/hTWa9HAqfq— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230170.0
3) The Republicans get an hour of questions. Then the Democrats. The questions are posed to counsels from both side… https://t.co/xVraeSSCSS— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230184.0
4) Some questions will obviously take longer to answer than others. They may try to economize to get in as many que… https://t.co/giar8b1Aa2— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230197.0
5) During the Q&A period, it's possible Chief Justice John Roberts could insert himself into the process and rule o… https://t.co/R1qrW6pnCc— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230234.0
6) However, Fox is told the Chief Justice is expected to be more “Rehnquistian,” – a reference to the late Chief Ju… https://t.co/SpY2wAbdS5— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230258.0
7) Once the Senate completes the Q&A period, likely Thurs/Frid, counsels for both sides will debate for up to 4 hou… https://t.co/wCPFp2QtvO— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230290.0
8) It is important to note that the actual vote is on the “next steps" dealing with calling witnesses or requesting… https://t.co/o3knZY8Sks— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230324.0
9) However, if the Senate does vote to entertain other issues, then there could be individual votes on individual w… https://t.co/vZuDqGxWav— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230337.0
10) If the Senate votes to subpoena a witness, that person is deposed first. Then the senators must vote to decide… https://t.co/bZ749U6bak— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230351.0
11) On witnesses in the trial, There is one school of thought that we may in fact know the universe of GOP senators… https://t.co/Glwq8zhB4C— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230386.0
12) Conceivably, Republicans could lose three senators and still reject witnesses. It always comes down to the math… https://t.co/7s1QqqRbFs— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230398.0
13) The Constitution and the Senate impeachment rules are silent on the Chief Justice breaking ties. Granted, Artic… https://t.co/EKuoGjA4U2— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230410.0
14) It’s notable that the Senate conducts much of its business based on precedent. In the trial of President Andrew… https://t.co/5VyBXiOioA— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230425.0
15) Granted, the Senate does a lot based on precedent. But Fox is told in a modern Senate trial, if there is a tie… https://t.co/nXVcXjHs5Q— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram) 1580230439.0