Former President Trump’s impeachment trial is set to begin Feb. 8th but it will not be Chief Justice John Roberts who presides over the trial. According to a Senate source, President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy will instead be the one to preside over the impending trial. Leahy is the most senior member of the Senate Democratic conference and previous chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Hill reports:
“Leaders have been negotiating all process issues about the trial, and all along we have deferred to them for any announcements about this and all other process matters,” the aide said.
Republican critics say this creates a conflict of interest because Leahy voted in February to convict Trump on two articles of impeachment.
Some have also argued the Senate should not be impeaching a former president, and that only Roberts should be presiding.
Many have had differing views as to who should preside over the impeachment proceedings. Experts have argued that the presiding officer will either be Roberts, Kamala Harris who is now Vice President, or Leahy. The Constitution states that the impeachment of a current president will be presided by the chief justice, however now that Trump is out of the office that is open to interpretation.