News and Commentary

Schumer: Impeachment Trial Will Be ‘Fair And Honest.’ Here’s A Look At Who’s Running It.

Called Trump "greatest threat" to Constitution, American democracy
Leahy Schumer
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claimed that the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump would be “fair and honest.”

“All parties have agreed to a structure that will ensure a fair and honest Senate impeachment trial of the former president,” he said, adding, “The structure we have agreed to is eminently fair. It will allow for the trial to reach its purpose: truth and accountability.”

On January 25, Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, who is serving as president pro tempore of the Senate for the third time in 46 years, promised that he would ensure “impartial justice” as he presided over the impeachment trial, writing:

The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents. 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.

I consider holding the office of the president pro tempore and the responsibilities that come with it to be one of the highest honors and most serious responsibilities of my career. When I preside over the impeachment 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.

Roughly two weeks before that, Leahy had this to say: “Nixon committed crimes nowhere near as serious as those by President Trump, and yet Nixon knew he had to resign. Trump’s crimes trying to overturn our elections and openly instigating a riot causing deaths warrant his immediate resignation or removal.”

He added: “Pres. Trump has not simply failed to uphold his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, which itself would be sufficient to warrant impeachment and removal. He has emerged as the *greatest threat* to the Constitution and to American democracy in a generation. … I hope that Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans will stand with our constitutional republic, as did 10 Republicans in the House today. For the good of the country, he must lead his party in voting to convict Pres. Trump and to prevent him from holding future office.”


Leahy’s harshly partisan history was documented in a 2001 piece in National Review by Jay Nordlinger, which told the stories of Leahy’s actions targeting conservative politicians; his attacks during the confirmation hearings of attorney-general nominee John Ashcroft; his attempt to paint former Solicitor General Ted Olson (whose wife Barbara was killed on 9/11 when terrorists flew American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon) as lacking integrity during Olson’s nomination hearings; and this:

And he was a major tormentor of Robert Bork during those awful hearings of 1987. In fact, he was responsible for one of their moments of highest drama. He scolded Bork for doing insufficient charity work while a professor at Yale, and recited the fees he earned as an outside consultant during the years 1979 to 1981. Responded Bork, “Those are the only years I ever made any money in consulting.” He continued, emotional, “There was a reason to get money, and I don’t want to get into it here.” Leahy acknowledged that the judge had his reasons. Then Sen. Gordon Humphrey, a Republican, broke in, saying, “Judge Bork, this is a very personal question, and if you prefer not to answer it, by all means do not–but were those years [ones that] coincided with heavy medical bills in your family?” Bork spoke one syllable: “Yeah.” The bills to which Humphrey had referred were for Bork’s first wife, Claire, who died in December 1980.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.