Press Room

Press Releases

Search Senator Leahy’s press releases, floor statements, and Committee speeches by date or by subject.

12.04.18

Senators Press Justice Department on Whitaker, Benczkowski Conflicts of Interest

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked the Department of Justice today to detail its handling of the serious financial, professional, and political conflicts of interest of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Brian… Continue Reading


12.01.18

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Passing Of Former President George H.W. Bush

He was the last President of the Greatest Generation, and he leaves a lasting legacy of true and meaningful public service. While we had our share of differences over policy, his decency, his civility and his humility have never been a more important example to the nation than they are today. He skillfully steered our country after the collapse of the Soviet Union. His legacy includes working with many of us in enacting the Americans With Disabilities Act, a far-reaching civil rights achieve… Continue Reading


11.30.18

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Verdicts In The First Berta Caceres Murder Trial

"Berta Caceres, a widely known and respected Honduran indigenous environmental activist, was disparaged, threatened, targeted, and ultimately murdered in her home by assassins more than two and a half years ago. Since then, we have witnessed an attempted cover-up by the Honduran police, an investigation fraught with irregularities, including reports of cell phone and ballistics evidence not analyzed, and a trial laden with delays involving eight defendants who almost certainly do not include th… Continue Reading


11.30.18

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Probe In Argentina Of Mohammed bin Salman

The ongoing probe by Argentine authorities into the criminal responsibility of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for alleged war crimes in Yemen and the torture of Saudi citizens sends a powerful message to victims that justice is possible, and that those responsible for the gravest crimes may eventually be held accountable. On November 26th, Human Rights Watch filed a petition before an Argentine federal prosecutor with information on several cases of Saudi citizens tortured in government… Continue Reading


11.29.18

Senate Floor Address Of Sen. Patrick Leahy, On Threats To Journalists, And Defending Press Freedom

In the 44 years I have served in the Senate, I have never been so concerned about the state of press freedom around the world, including, I deeply regret to say, in our own country. I was brought up in a family that owned a weekly newspaper and owned a printing business. The First Amendment was the most important part of our Constitution because it promised the freedom of speech and it promised the diversity of religion, and that Amendment was the foundation of our democracy. Yet the premedita… Continue Reading


11.29.18

Full Congressional Record Statement Thursday Of Sen. Patrick Leahy, On The Senate Resolution On Yemen And Saudi Arabia

Mr. President, I hope the Saudi royal family was paying attention to yesterday's debate in the United States Senate. The bipartisan vote on Senate Joint Resolution 54, introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy, of which I am a cosponsor, was significant for multiple reasons, but most of all for what it says about the potency of the outrage and disgust in this country and in the Congress about the conduct of Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince. That outrage has … Continue Reading


11.28.18

Spaulding High School

On November 28, 2018, Senator Leahy continued his series of online chats with Vermont students - this time, with Spaulding High School's 11th and 12th grade AP U.S. Government class, taught by Ms. Katie Saint Raymond. He enjoyed answering their questions about Vermont's priorities and communities and what he expects the Senate to do during the 116th Congress. Senator Leahy also discussed the important role that bipartisanship plays in the passage of pieces of legislations and appropriations bi… Continue Reading


11.28.18

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Confirmation Vote of Thomas Alvin Farr To the Eastern District of North Carolina

Our constitutional obligation as Senators is to provide advice and informed consent to a President's nominees. I do my best to scrutinize each nominee on the merits, regardless of party, and decide whether they deserve a lifetime appointment to our esteemed federal bench. And during my 44 years in the Senate, I have voted for more Republican nominated judges than almost all Republican Senators in this body today. The simple fact is, given his track record of working to systematically dismantl… Continue Reading


11.27.18

Statement of Vermont’s Congressional Delegation In Response to Swanton Sector Border Patrol’s Planned Immigration Checkpoints

In a joint statement, Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) said: "While we sincerely appreciate the work of the U.S. Border Patrol in keeping our country safe along the Northern Border through their actions to interdict dangerous criminal behavior such as human trafficking, we are concerned to learn of the U.S. Border Patrol's plans to operate a number of immigration checkpoints in the interior of Vermont. While these checkpoints will cause n… Continue Reading


11.21.18

Leahy Statement On Forest Management Provisions In The Farm Bill, And The California Wildfires

"It is outrageous that House Republicans and the Trump Administration are continuing to hold up the Farm Bill negotiations over harmful and extreme forestry provisions. Secretaries Perdue and Zinke shockingly are trying to co-opt the terrible tragedies in California to push for the Trump Administration's crass, cynical and unaccountable logging of the public's national forests. "Both have failed to mention that Congress, in March of this year, a mere eight months ago, already provided both of … Continue Reading


11.16.18

Portman And Leahy Introduce Second Chance Reauthorization Act To Reduce Recidivism And Help Ex-Offenders, As Congress Considers Criminal Justice Reform

As Sentencing Reform Moves To Congress's Front Burner In The Post-Election Lame Duck Session- Portman And Leahy Introduce Second Chance Reauthorization Act To Reduce Recidivism And Help Ex-Offenders, As Congress Considers Criminal Justice Reform … Program Has Helped Vermont Achieve A Steady And Dramatic Reduction In Incarceration Numbers WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Nov. 16, 2018) - U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday introduced their Second Chance Reauthori… Continue Reading


11.15.18

Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Nom. Of Retired Essex Police Chief Brad LaRose To Be Vermont’s Next U.S. Marshal

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday advanced the nomination of retired Essex Police Chief Brad LaRose to be Vermont's next U.S. Marshal. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Governor Phil Scott (R) had jointly recommended LaRose to President Trump in January to fill the vacancy, and the President nominated him in June. The nomination now goes to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. Once confirmed by the full Senate, LaRose will oversee all U.S. Marshals Service operations in Vermont… Continue Reading


11.14.18

Leahy And Shaheen Ask Acting Attorney General Whitaker Whether "Zero Tolerance" Policy Has Drained Resources From Drug-Trafficking Prosecutions

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, are asking Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker about reports that the Justice Department's resources for serious drug-trafficking prosecutions are being drained by the resources required to prosecute minor immigration offenses under President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy. As part of the… Continue Reading


11.14.18

Sheldon Elementary

On November 14, 2018, Senator Leahy continued his series of online chats with Vermont students - this time, with Sheldon Elementary School's 8th grade class, taught by Mr. Edward Kolnaski. He was very impressed by the students' questions about the legislative process, and other topics such as religious freedom. Senator Leahy also discussed his life experiences, work for Vermont in the Senate and the importance of reading in his life.… Continue Reading


11.13.18

Leahy Announces A Record $13.4 Million In Federal Funding For Vermont Organizations Supporting Victim Service Programs

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that Vermont organizations will receive 15 grants totaling nearly $13.4 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to support crime victims and to strengthen services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The $13.4 million in fiscal year 2018 funding represents a $6 million increase in funding for crime victims, including survivors of domestic and sexual violence, over fiscal year 2017 levels. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropr… Continue Reading


11.08.18

Statement On The “Nobody Is Above The Law Protest”

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The "Nobody Is Above The Law Protest" [Delivered On Senator Leahy's Behalf By Leahy Vermont Director John Tracy] Burlington, Vermont Thursday, November 8, 2018 I am so proud of the Vermonters here today and across our state, and across our country, who are speaking out in support of the rule of law. You are doing your country a great service, and your collective voice may very well prevent a constitutional crisis. We all owe you our sincere thanks and app… Continue Reading


11.07.18

Comment On The Resignation Of Jeff Sessions As U.S. Attorney General

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Resignation Of Jeff Sessions As U.S. Attorney General November 7, 2018 President Trump has wanted to hobble the Russia investigation from its inception. The only reason why he regularly disparaged and belittled Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and ultimately asked for his resignation, is that he was unhappy that his Attorney General followed mandatory Department of Justice regulations and recused himself from the Russia investigation. And the Pres… Continue Reading


11.05.18

Comment On Prevailing Over Voter Suppression Efforts

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Prevailing Over Voter Suppression Efforts November 5, 2018 The right to vote in the United States has never come easy. For minorities, for women, and for marginalized communities across the country, first gaining and then exercising the right to vote has required endless sacrifice and relentless perseverance. Just one day away from an election that will shape the foreseeable trajectory of our democracy, that foundational right - the franchise - requi… Continue Reading


11.01.18

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy About The President's Vitriolic Remarks On Thursday About Immigration And Asylum Policy

The President's fact-free vitriol today on immigration was yet another transparent descent into fear-mongering politics just days before national elections that could place a check on his presidency. It wasn't about a new crisis at our Southwest Border. It wasn't about public safety. Instead this was another cynical ploy to divert attention from his party's efforts to take away coverage of preexisting conditions and cut Social Security and Medicare to plug part of the gaping hole they caused … Continue Reading


10.31.18

Ludlow Elementary

On October 31, 2018, Senator Leahy continued his series of online chats with Vermont students - this time, with Ludlow Elementary School's 6th grade class, taught by Ms. Heidi Baitz. He enjoyed answering their questions about environmental issues facing Lake Champlain, and about what being a senator entails. Senator Leahy also discussed the important role that immigrants have played in shaping the United States, and about what students can do to lead healthy and active lives.… Continue Reading

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