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Senator Patrick Leahy, 80, is rushed to hospital after being sworn in to preside over Trump's second impeachment - but is released home following tests and his wife says 'he could be back at work tomorrow'

 Vermont Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy was hospitalized Tuesday just hours after being sworn in to preside over the second impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Leahy, 80, began feeling 'unwell' on Tuesday evening, and underwent tests at hospital before being released hours later. 

But his wife Marcelle Pomerleau - a nurse - believes he could be back to work tomorrow. 

Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate Majority Whip, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he had spoken to Marcelle, saying: 'She says things are going well, so we've all got our fingers crossed that he'll be back tomorrow'.

Leahy is the president pro tempore of the Senate. He is third in the line of succession and the most senior Democrat in the Senate. 

He took up his role presiding as other senators were sworn in as the court of impeachment Tuesday.

In this image from video, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, swears in Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the president pro tempore of the Senate, who will preside over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Leahy was hospitalized after telling the Capitol physician he wasn't feeling well

In this image from video, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, swears in Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the president pro tempore of the Senate, who will preside over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Leahy was hospitalized after telling the Capitol physician he wasn't feeling well

'This evening, Sen. Leahy was in his Capitol office and was not feeling well. He was examined in the Capitol by the Attending Physician', his spokesman David Carle told ABC News.

'Out of an abundance of caution, the Attending Physician recommended that he be taken to a local hospital for observation, where he is now, and where he is being evaluated,' he added. 

Carle later issued an update, saying: 'After getting test results back, and after a thorough examination, Senator Leahy is now home. He looks forward to getting back to work.'

Beyond his mostly ceremonial role at the trial, Leahy, like every other Senate Democrat, helps ensure the party's the 50-50 Senate. Since Democrats control the White House, Vice President Kamala Harris can break ties as president of the Senate and provides the party effective control.  


Leahy is the senior most Senate Democrat and president pro tempore of the body

Leahy is the senior most Senate Democrat and president pro tempore of the body

In this image from video, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, shakes hands with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the president pro tempore of the Senate

In this image from video, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, shakes hands with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the president pro tempore of the Senate

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts presided over Trump's first impeachment, but reportedly was not keen on presiding over the second one

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts presided over Trump's first impeachment, but reportedly was not keen on presiding over the second one

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presided over Trump's first impeachment, but reportedly did not want to do it again for the first impeachment of a former president. 

News of Leahy's hospitalization came hours after 45 Republicans voted on a procedural motion that the trial of Trump after he left office was unconstitutional – a sign that the effort to impeach Trump faced steep obstacles.

Seventeen Republicans would need to join 50 Democrats to convict Trump. A single Republican, Mitt Romney of Utah, voted for an impeachment article during Trump's first impeachment last year.

Tuesday's trial action was mostly ceremonial, and sets up a substantive trial that will begin February 9.  

In the meantime, Trump's lawyers and Democratic managers are preparing briefs that they would file on the charge of 'incitement of insurrection' following the Jan. 6 MAGA riots inside the Capitol. 


The interregnum will give the Senate time to move on some Joe Biden cabinet nominations as the nation grapples with the Coronavirus pandemic that has taken more than 400,000 American lives. 

Leahy is the top Democrat on the powerful Appropriations Committee, and previously chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee. First elected in 1974, he served decades with President Joe Biden when he was in the Senate, and has been a prominent figure in Supreme Court confirmation battles.

An avid amateur photographer, he snapped images inside the Capitol rotunda Monday shortly before House managers made the historic delivery of the impeachment article to begin the process.  


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