Sen. Leahy recovering at home following hospitalization

The Senator's spokesman says he was evaluated at the U.S. Capitol and then taken to George Washington University hospital out of an abundance of caution.
Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 6:05 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 at 5:19 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (WCAX) - Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy went home Tuesday night after being evaluated at the hospital.

Spokesman David Carle said the senator wasn’t feeling well Tuesday afternoon and was examined in the Capitol by the attending physician.

They say out of an abundance of caution, the doctor recommended Leahy, 80, be taken to George Washington University Hospital for observation.

After a thorough examination and getting test results back, the senator went home Tuesday night.

Carle said Leahy looks forward to getting back to work and he and his wife Marcelle “deeply appreciate the well-wishes they have received tonight.”

Senator Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, told CNN on Tuesday night that Marcelle, who is a nurse, was with Leahy at the time of his hospitalization.

“She says things are going well so we all have our fingers crossed that he’ll be back tomorrow,” Durbin said.

This all comes hours after Leahy, who is the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, was sworn in to oversee the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. The actual trial will begin next month.

Constitutional Law expert Jared Carter says presiding over an impeachment trial is a responsibility given only to the vice president or senate pro tempore, as laid out in the U.S. Constitution. Carter describes Leahy as “uniquely situated” for the position because of his history in the Senate and his background as a prosecutor and lawyer.

“I really don’t think there’s a lot of other senators out there that could step into the role that Senator Leahy is engaged in right now as the presiding officer because of his background, his respect on both sides of the aisle and his experience in the Senate,” Carter said.

According to his staff, Senator Leahy hopes to return to work soon. If he’s not back by the start of the impeachment trial, either he or the Senate could appoint someone of the majority party, which is currently the Democratic Party, to fill in for him.

“The other avenue that I think is possible is that the Senate itself could select a new person to preside over that office if, God forbid, Senator Leahy is not able to exercise that office by the time the trial starts,” Carter said.

Leahy is Vermont’s senior-most senator and the longest-serving member of the Senate. The Democrat was first elected in 1974. As President Pro Tempore of the Senate, he is third in line for the presidency.

No word yet on when Leahy will return to the Senate floor.

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