Leahy expected to preside over impeachment after health scare

Leahy expected to preside over impeachment after health scare
© Greg Nash

Senate President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), the longest-serving Democrat in the upper chamber, is back at work after a health scare Tuesday and is expected to preside over former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: LeBron James's 'racist rants' are divisive, nasty North Carolina man accused of fraudulently obtaining .5M in PPP loans Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies MORE’s impeachment trial.

Leahy told reporters Wednesday that he experienced muscle spasms on Tuesday and was advised by the Capitol’s attending physician, Brian Monahan, to check in at a hospital out of an “abundance of caution.”

“I had some muscle spasms. And normally I would have said, ‘To hell with it, to heck with it,’ but they didn’t stop. And I talked to Monahan and he checked me over ... pretty good. But he said, ‘You know there’s so much going on let’s not take a chance,’ and I went to the hospital on the way home,” Leahy recounted Wednesday morning.


Leahy’s spokesman issued a statement Tuesday evening reporting that his boss went to George Washington University hospital for observation on the Capitol physician’s recommendation.

Leahy said Wednesday that doctors gave him “a clean bill of health” and he expects to be able to preside over the trial.

“I opened the Senate this morning,” he noted.

Leahy, who is 80 years old and has served in the Senate since 1975, said he’s healthy enough to serve out the remainder of his term but hasn’t yet decided whether to run in 2022 for reelection to a ninth term.

Asked if he is fit enough to serve out his term, Leahy responded, “Of course.”

On the topic of running for reelection, he asserted, “Various polls show me winning easily.”


“But you know ... I never make up my mind until November, December the year before [election year] and I’m not going to know,” he said. “Usually when we’ve gone skiing and snowshoeing, then we’ll talk about it.”

Vermont has a Republican governor, Phil Scott, who would appoint a replacement for Leahy if he could not continue serving in the Senate.

Scott said last year he would appoint a member of the same party to temporarily replace a retiring senator when Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi pushes for drug pricing measure amid uncertainty from White House White House sees GOP proposal as legitimate starting point The Memo: Washington's fake debate on 'bipartisanship' MORE (I-Vt.) was in the running to serve in President BidenJoe BidenBiden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies Overnight Defense: Top general concerned about Afghan forces after US troops leave | Pentagon chief: Climate crisis 'existential' threat to US national security | Army conducts review after 4 Black soldiers harassed at Virginia IHOP Feds expect to charge scores more in connection to Capitol riot MORE’s Cabinet.

Vermont law requires the governor to call a special election within six months to fill a vacant Senate seat for the remainder of an uncompleted term.