01.25.21

Comment On Presiding Over The Impeachment Trial Of President Donald Trump

[Last week, for the third time in his 46 years as a United States Senator, Senator Leahy was sworn in as president pro tempore of the Senate.  The president pro tempore is a constitutional officer, responsible for presiding over the Senate in the absence of the vice president.  For more than 70 years, the senator holding the office of the president pro tempore has stood third in line in the order of succession to be president.  Throughout the nation’s history, each president pro tempore has almost without exception belonged to a political party, and each, representing the people of his state, has no doubt had their own personal and political views on the matters before the Senate.  Yet when presiding over the Senate, the president pro tempore has historically served as a neutral arbiter, issuing rulings where appropriate and preserving order.]

“The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents.  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. 

“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.  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.

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