CIRCUS: Democrat Patrick Leahy to preside over Trump’s impeachment trial

John Roberts refuses to preside over Trump’s impeachment trial because Trump is a private citizen now. So what does the Senate do? Citing presiden, they appoint the Senate President Pro Tempore to preside, which is the despicable Patrick Leahy:

THE HILL – Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will not preside over former President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, which is scheduled to begin in earnest on Feb. 8.

Instead, Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy (Vt.), the most senior member of the Senate Democratic Conference, will preside over the trial.

Leahy on Monday confirmed he would wield the gavel and promised to administer “impartial justice.”

“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 its laws. It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously,” he said in a statement.

Leahy vowed he would “not waver from my constitutional and sworn obligations to administer the trial with fairness, in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.”

This is the same man who voted for Trump’s impeachment the first time. This is the same man who, during the Obama administration, actually gave a speech on the Senate floor trying to INTIMIDATE the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts before their big Obamacare decision. In the Senate it’s hard to get lower than Patrick leahy.

Republicans aren’t happy about it:

Republican critics say this creates a conflict of interest because Leahy voted in February to convict Trump on two articles of impeachment.

Some have also argued the Senate should not be impeaching a former president, and that only Roberts should be presiding.

“There’s only one constitutional process for impeachment and it is of the president, not a president,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). “It requires the chief justice to preside.”

Other Republicans say Roberts’s absence undermines the legitimacy of the trial.

“The Constitution requires that the chief justice preside over the impeachment trial of a president but that’s not what we’re doing. To me that’s indicative of the fact that we’re in uncharted waters,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Judiciary Committee.

“I just think it looks very petty and vindictive and I understand there are a lot of people who are mad but the process itself already looks like a railroad job,” he added.

Cornyn said having a Democrat preside over the trial “really undermines the legitimacy.”

Other GOP senators echoed that criticism.

“If the chief justice doesn’t preside, I think it’s an illegitimate hearing and really goes to show that it’s not really constitutional to impeach someone who’s not president,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Rand Paul isn’t wrong. Jonathan Turley is pointing out the same thing, suggesting this whole thing is a farce:

It’s not just a farce, it’s a clown show, especially with a partisan hack like Leahy presiding.

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