Justice Roberts out; Dem Sen Pat Leahy, still reportedly a jury member, to preside over Trump impeachment trial

Senate Democrats are forging ahead with the unprecedented, pointless impeachment of private citizen Donald Trump from an office he no longer holds, and since pursuing a former president for political purposes has never been attempted before, the party is essentially making up the rules as they go along.

If you have concerns about fairness after the shenanigans seen in the Democrats’ first sham impeachment of Trump, worry no more. The Democratic senator who will be presiding over the coming show trial assures all he will not waver from ensuring a fair trial.


The Constitution requires the chief justice of the Supreme Court to preside over an impeachment trial for a president. But Trump is no longer president, so Chief Justice John Roberts will not be present at the trial.

The Constitution does not account for who presides over the Senate trial of a former president, perhaps the first sign that it’s unconstitutional, and Democrats have tapped Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to assume the role.

Leahy serves as the president pro tempore of the Senate, and he will preside over the trial for Trump, who was impeached on Jan. 13 in a rush job by House Democrats for allegedly inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol — evidence shows the attack was planned well ahead of the rally Trump spoke at prior to the building being stormed, telling supporters to “fight like hell” for their country.

“The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents,” Leahy said in a statement. “When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws. It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously.”

(Note that Leahy said “non-presidents,” not former presidents.)

“I consider holding the office of the president pro tempore and the responsibilities that come with it to be one of the highest honors and most serious responsibilities of my career,” the release continued. “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.

House Democrat impeachment managers delivered the article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday, and Trump’s defense team will have two weeks to prepare for the sham trial, which begins the week of February 8.

Oh, by the way, in addition to presiding over the trial, Leahy is believed to still be a member of the jury. A senator who has already voted to impeach Trump once.

But fairness is assured — just ask Trump-hating Democrats set on ensuring that he never runs for office again.

Here’s a sampling of additional responses to the story from Twitter:

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Tom Tillison

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