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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.

Updated 26 mins ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

📺: The Olympic events to watch today; Olympics opening ceremony ratings plunge

🏊: Athlete spotlight — Katie Ledecky adds to Games career medals haul; Caeleb Dressel leads Team USA to gold.

🏀: U.S. Men's basketball suffers first Olympic loss since 2004

🤖: The robot Olympics

🚨: Heat wave brings scorching temperatures to Tokyo Olympics

🎤: Meet the new faces of NBC's Olympics coverage

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics opening ceremony ratings fall to 33-year low

Wally Skalij /Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Ratings for the Olympic Games opening ceremony were down 36% compared to 2016, according to preliminary numbers from NBC Universal. 

Why it matters: The figures for the Tokyo Games event mark the lowest audience for an Olympics opening ceremony event in over three decades, per Reuters.