Former Md. senator Paul Sarbanes dies at 87

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Former Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.), who introduced the first article of impeachment against then-President Richard Nixon as a congressman, died Monday at 87, The Washington Post reported.

Sarbanes served three terms in the House of Representatives from 1971 to 1977 and participated in the impeachment inquiry against Nixon while serving on the House Judiciary Committee.

In 1974, Sarbanes drafted an article of impeachment that charged the president with obstruction of justice. The panel approved it 27-11.

In 1976 he defeated Sen. John Glenn Beall Jr. (R) and was elected to the Senate, later winning four more terms. By the time of his 2007 retirement, he was the longest-serving senator in Maryland history. A decade later, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) beat his record by a single day.

During his Senate career, he was the namesake of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which increased the regulation of public company boards and accounting firms following the Enron and WorldCom corporate scandals.

Sarbanes was noted for shunning the spotlight and frequently commuting home to Baltimore rather than making himself at home in Washington. “I’m not always out there blowing my own trumpet,” he told the Post in 1994. “You can get a lot done if you let others take some, maybe all, of the credit for it.”

“Our family is grateful to know that we have the support of Marylanders who meant so much to him and whom he was honored to serve,” Sarbanes’s son John, who represents his father’s former district in Congress, said in a statement. “Following state, local and public health guidance amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our family will hold a private service in the coming days.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) also hailed Sarbanes in a statement.

“Senator Paul Sarbanes was a sincere and passionate advocate for our state and its natural resources,” Hogan said. “Today, we mourn his loss and send our deepest sympathies to his family.”

Tags Barbara Mikulski John Sarbanes Paul Sarbanes

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