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Sen. Patrick Leahy heads to the Senate floor on Nov. 9. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is expected to preside over former President Trump's second impeachment trial, a Senate source tells Axios. CNN first reported Leahy's role.

Why it matters: The Constitution requires the chief justice of the Supreme Court to preside over a sitting president's impeachment trial rather than the vice president — who has the title of president of the Senate — to avoid a potential conflict of interest. However, there is no precedent for a former president.

  • The 80-year-old Leahy is the most senior Democrat and president pro tempore of the Senate.

What he's saying: “The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents," Leahy said in a statement Monday.

  • "When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws.  It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously," he added.
  • "When I preside over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, I will not waver from my constitutional and sworn obligations to administer the trial with fairness, in accordance with the Constitution and the laws."
  • "I’m not presenting the evidence, I am making sure that procedures are followed," Leahy told reporters Monday when asked about his ability to be impartial during the trial.
  • "I've presided over hundreds of hours in my term in the Senate. I don't think anybody has ever suggested I was anything but impartial in those hundreds of hours," he added.

The state of play: Trump will be tried on a single article of impeachment for allegedly inciting a mob of his supporters to violence to prevent President Biden's election results from being certified. The Senate will begin Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8.

Go deeper

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Colonial pipeline hack: Key takeaways from Biden's first energy crisis

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Restoration of the Colonial Pipeline, the huge East Coast gasoline artery, is the beginning of the end of a crisis that prompted a White House logistical and political scramble.

Catch up fast: Late Wednesday afternoon Colonial began restart of the 5,500-mile line that shut down nearly a week ago after a ransomware attack.

New Jan. 6 body camera footage shows Trump supporters attacking officer

New body camera footage obtained by CNN shows the moment a DC police officer was brutally attacked by Trump supporters during the Capitol Hill insurrection.

Driving the news: The release of video comes a day after Republican members of Congress sought to downplay the Jan. 6 events, with some lawmakers calling the rioters "peaceful patriots" and comparing them to tourists.