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Democrat Leahy to preside over Trump...

Democrat Leahy to preside over Trump impeachment. Wicker says Chief Justice Roberts not presiding speaks volumes.

By: Frank Corder - January 25, 2021

Democrat U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, the most senior member of the chamber, will preside over the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the U.S. Senate instead of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts.

Reports have noted that Roberts has declined to participate.

There is an unsettled legal question as to whether a former President can be tried and impeached.  Impeachment trials of other officials after they left office have been conducted but an impeachment trial of a former President has never been attempted.

Trump is one of three Presidents to have been impeached during their terms. Presidents Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson are the others. None have been removed from office.

“The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents,” Leahy said in a statement on Monday.  He is the Senate President Pro Tempore.

Even though he will be presiding, Leahy will still be able to vote in the trial.  The Democrat Senator from Vermont voted to convict Trump in the 2020 impeachment trial.

“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 added.

Senator John Cornyn (R) of Texas posed a question on Twitter many onlookers are wondering:  “How does a Senator preside, like a judge, and serve as juror too?”

Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R) indicated to Y’all Politics on Monday that Chief Justice Roberts not presiding calls into question the proceedings.

“I think it speaks volumes that the Chief Justice declined to preside,” Senator Wicker said.

Both Wicker and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) are on record as being opposed to the Senate moving forward with the impeachment trial of Trump.

“Senator Hyde-Smith continues to oppose the hurried impeachment process set in motion by House Democrats,” the Senator’s office said Monday afternoon.

Wicker agrees, saying the U.S. House voted on the impeachment articles without hearings or any careful consideration of evidence.  Mississippi’s senior Senator noted that President Joe Biden could have used his influence to stop the impeachment process from going forward and sought to unify the country.

“A second impeachment trial is sure to inflame partisan tensions and could poison the cooperative spirit we need in a 50-50 Senate,” Wicker wrote in his weekly report.  “I fear it will also bring more reproach on Congress’s solemn impeachment power, which should be used sparingly and with sober deliberation.”

Wicker and Hyde-Smith have said they will not vote to convict Trump.

The Senate is set to begin the impeachment trial the week of February 8th.


About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank:
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