Senator Patrick Leahy will preside over Trump’s second impeachment trial

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Independent)
(Independent)

The Senate's longest serving Democrat will rule over Donald Trump's second impeachment trial.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Senate's longest serving Democrat, will be the one to preside over Mr Trump's historic second impeachment trial as Chief Justice John Roberts of the US Supreme Court has made it clear he wants no part in the proceedings.

Justice Roberts presided over Mr Trump's first impeachment trial, but said he was not interested in adjudicating the upcoming proceedings. In the past, the Justice has commented that he prefers to leave political decisions to the Congress to maintain the Supreme Court's ostensible position of impartiality in tact.

Mr Leahy will likely still get a chance to vote on whether or not to impeach Mr Trump. As a sitting Senator, he will still be entitled to a vote.

Democrats pushed for the Senate to convene in an emergency session immediately after Mr Trump was impeached in the House with the intention of convicting and removing Mr Trump from office.

Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to call the special session, stating that a fair trial would be impossible under that kind of time line.

The impeachment trial was supposed to begin shortly after Joe Biden was inaugurated, but has been pushed back until 8 February. Mr McConnell said the move would allow Mr Trump's defense team time to prepare and file briefs ahead of the trial.

It is currently unclear if Democrats will push to call witnesses during the trial.

If Democrats choose to call witnesses, it could extend the trial for some time. Arguments in the Senate are not expected to begin until the middle of February, and witness testimony could push the trial on for weeks.

Mr Trump's first impeachment trial lasted just over two weeks.

Bill Clinton's impeachment trial took nearly three months.

According to a CNN report, several impeachment managers have said they do not expect the trial to exceed 21 days.

Rep. Jamie Raskin will lead the impeachment managers delivering the article of impeachment to the Senate.