Prelude to impeachment trials set to start in West Virginia

Prelude to impeachment trials set to start in West Virginia
FILE - This combination of photos shows West Virginia state Supreme Court justices, from left, Robin Davis on Oct. 3, 2012, Allen Loughry on Oct. 3, 2012, Beth Walker on March 16, 2016 and Margaret Workman on Dec. 29, 2008. The state Senate meets Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, where the four impeached justices or their lawyers will make initial appearances in Charleston, W.Va. (Courtesy of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and The Daily Mail via AP, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The historic drama of impeachment trials for four West Virginia Supreme Court justices gets started with initial appearances this week before the state Senate.

The justices or their lawyers are set to appear Tuesday and pre-trial conferences could occur. Trial dates in the Senate chambers have not been set.

The House of Delegates voted last month to impeach justices Robin Davis, Allen Loughry, Beth Walker and Margaret Workman. Davis retired hours afterward but remains a target of impeachment articles.

The impeachments began with questions involving renovations to the justices’ offices and evolved into accusations of corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty. Both the Senate and the House are controlled by Republicans, and Democratic lawmakers have characterized the attempt to overhaul the court as an unprecedented power grab by the GOP.