Senator presiding over Trump impeachment trial now home after hospital visit


WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 25: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) the president pro tempore of the Senate, pauses in the Rotunda as he waits for Clerk of the House Cheryl Johnson to deliver the article of impeachment to the Senate on Capitol Hill on January 25, 2021 in Washington DC. The House is impeaching Donald Trump for the second time, with the article of impeachment alleging an incitement of insurrection. The Senate has scheduled to begin the trial of the former president on February 8th.(Photo by J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy was taken to a hospital Tuesday evening after not feeling well and later sent home after tests, a spokesman said, hours after the 80-year-old Democrat began presiding over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

Leahy, who’d been in his Capitol office, was taken to George Washington University Hospital “out of an abundance of caution” after being examined by Congress’ attending physician, Leahy spokesman David Carle said.

The senator underwent an evaluation before his release from the hospital and looks forward to returning to work, Carle said.

Hours earlier, Leahy commenced his role of presiding over the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump by swearing in his fellow lawmakers. The actual trial will begin next month.

This evening, Senator Leahy was in his Capitol office and was not feeling well.  He was examined in the Capitol by the Attending Physician.  Out of an abundance of caution, the Attending Physician recommended that he be taken to a local hospital for observation, where he is now, and where he is being evaluated.

David Carle, spokesman for Senator Patrick Leahy

Leahy is presiding over the trial because he is the Senate’s president pro tempore, a largely ceremonial post. Chief Justice John Roberts presided over Trump’s first impeachment trial a year ago when Trump was still president.

The Senate president pro tempore job normally goes to the longest-serving senator of the Senate’s majority party. Leahy is third in the Presidential Line of Succession, after Speaker Pelosi. Leahy was first elected in 1974.

Leahy will be chairman once again this year of the Senate Appropriations Committee, a panel that controls a large chunk of the federal budget and will be in the middle of President Joe Biden’s effort to provide more spending to combat the pandemic and recharge the economy.

Leahy is the fifth-oldest current senator. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., 87, is the oldest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report; reporting by Alan Fram

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