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Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy to preside at Trump impeachment

January 26, 2021 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy is going to preside over the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

Leahy, a Democrat, is the president pro tem of the Senate, meaning he is the senior senator of the party that holds the majority in the chamber.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presided over Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, but since Trump is no longer in office, Senate protocol gives the job to the president pro tem.

Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. Trump was impeached on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the Jan. 6 mob that overran the Capitol building in Washington.

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The role of the pro tem is largely ceremonial, but the senator holding the post has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents.

Leahy said that he will take an additional oath before presiding over the 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 said in a statement.