Sen. Patrick Leahy returns home after being hospitalized
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is set to preside over the impeachment trial of former President Trump, was briefly taken to the hospital Tuesday before being released, his office said in a statement.
Leahy, 80, “was not feeling well” in his Capitol office and was examined by the attending physician, said David Carle, a spokesperson for the Vermont senator. Leahy later left the hospital to return home.
“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,” Carle said.
“After getting test results back, and after a thorough examination, Senator Leahy is now home,” Carle added in a subsequent statement later Tuesday. “He looks forward to getting back to work.”
Leahy’s hospitalization came hours after he was sworn in to preside over the Senate’s impeachment trial. The proceedings are expected to begin the week of Feb. 8.
Leahy, the Senate president pro tempore, is constitutionally the second-highest-ranking official in the upper chamber behind Vice President Harris, who is the president of the Senate under Article I. He is third in line in the order of presidential succession after Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The Vermont lawmaker was first elected to the Senate in 1974. He is the only sitting senator to have served during the Ford administration and one of only two to have served during the Carter administration.
Leahy will oversee Trump’s impeachment trial next month in lieu of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who chose not to preside over the trial because Trump is no longer in office.
It was not immediately clear if Leahy’s hospitalization would impact his ability to head the proceedings. Leahy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill inquiring if the development will have any impact on the trial, though Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate majority whip, said he was hopeful that Leahy could be back in the Senate as soon as Wednesday.
“She says things are going well, so we’ve all got our fingers crossed that he’ll be back tomorrow,” Durbin said on CNN while referring to Leahy’s wife, Marcelle, who is a nurse.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin on Sen. Patrick Leahy’s hospitalization hours after being sworn in to preside over Trump’s impeachment trial: Leahy’s wife is a nurse and “This was just an abundance of caution… She says things are going well.” https://t.co/4nv3nCx031 pic.twitter.com/KBxD6Y3Q7j
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) January 26, 2021
The House of Representatives impeached Trump earlier this month for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill that resulted in the deaths of several people. The violent mob sought to disrupt the confirmation of the Electoral College results showing President Biden winning the White House race.
Trump spoke to supporters before they ransacked the Capitol to repeat his unfounded claims that the presidential election was fraudulently “stolen” from him, telling the crowd that “you have to show strength” and “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Updated: 8:49 p.m.