Senator Leahy To Preside Over Trump’s Impeachment Trial

The U.S. Senate’s longest-serving member, Democrat Patrick Leahy, will preside over the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Leahy said on Monday.

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts presided at Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, as the Constitution requires in presidential impeachments. But senators can preside when the person being impeached is not the current president of the United States, a Senate source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Leahy, 80, a lawmaker from Vermont who took office in 1975, is the senator with the most seniority in either party.

“When I preside over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, I will not waver from my constitutional and sworn obligations to administer the trial with fairness, in accordance with the Constitution and the laws,” Leahy said in a statement.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday will deliver an article of impeachment to the Senate, accusing Trump of inciting insurrection in a fiery speech to his followers before this month’s deadly attack on the Capitol. But the trial is not expected to get started until Feb. 9.

Leahy will still be able to vote in the trial, an aide said, noting that senators vote on all matters when presiding over the Senate.

But some Republicans questioned the arrangement. “How does a Senator preside, like a judge, and serve as juror too?” Senator John Cornyn wrote on Twitter.

When the Senate removed U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous in a 2010 impeachment trial, Senator Daniel Inouye both presided over the trial and voted. When that was pointed out to Cornyn on Twitter on Monday, the senator replied: “He was a judge, not a former president.”

Leahy is president pro tempore of the Senate, meaning he is empowered to preside over Senate sessions in the absence of Vice President Kamala Harris. That duty is usually rotated, however, among senators of the majority party.

Being president pro tempore also makes Leahy, who is the senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the third in line of presidential succession, after the vice president and speaker of the House.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Peter Cooney)


    1. I guess you are not an, Alabaman, Iowan or Oklahoman voter–Shelby (86), Grassley(87), and Ihofe(86) are all older than Leahy(80). Inofe was just elected to another 6 year term. Leahy is also only 2 yrs older than Mitch McConnell who was just reelected to his 7th 6 yr Senate term.

      Quite frankly, I would trust the cognitive functioning of Sen. Leahy over that of Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley—-How did they plan to delay the certification of the 2020 election without 218 votes in the House??? They did not even come close to passage in the Senate.

      Sen. Cotton is also young and he has come up with equally as absurd ideas i.e., objection to the JCPOA without military intervention and of course buying Greenland.

    2. Lying Paul The Emeffer, do you ever think before you post any comments here? You rarely ever display any evidence of doing so.

      Also, I have explained for a number of times WHY using term limits won’t get you what you want, but I never heard one peep back from YOU as to why they would. Why is that, Lying Paul The Emeffer? Why?

      1. Explain all you want. You trolling comments are not worth the effort or time to peep to.

        1. So, in other words, you have no idea or care about what you post here. O.K., that’s fine. Just so that we all understand what you do here.

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