- The Washington Times - Monday, January 25, 2021

Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will not preside over former President Trump’s second impeachment trial.

Instead, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat, who serves as the president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate is expected to preside over the trial, which will begin the week of Feb. 8.

“Senators preside when the impeached is not *the* [current] president of the United States,” a Senate source told The Washington Times.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, told Fox News if Mr. Leahy presides, it could present a “conflict of interest” since senators are supposed to act as jurors. 

The high court did not respond to a request for comment about the chief justice’s plans.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity earlier this week that he had heard Justice Roberts would not be asked to preside over the second trial, as he did last year during Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial over his call with the Ukrainian president.

“The story is the chief justice is not going to be asked,” Mr. Paul said. “He has privately said he is not supposed to come unless it is the impeachment of the president so this is an illegitimate procedure.”

Some Republican senators have argued the impeachment trial should not go forward against a president after he’s left office, claiming it is unconstitutional as impeachment is used to remove a sitting president, vice president or judge.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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