Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Senate president pro tempore, was taken to the hospital Tuesday “out of an abundance of caution” after feeling ill.
“This evening, Senator Leahy was in his Capitol office and was not feeling well,” said spokesman David Carle in a statement. “He was examined in the Capitol by the Attending Physician. 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.”
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said on CNN Tuesday evening that he’d been in touch with Leahy’s wife, Marcelle, who is with him. She said that things are “going well,” Durbin said, adding that everyone has their “fingers crossed” he’ll be back on Wednesday.
Leahy, is slated to preside over the Senate impeachment trial when it begins in earnest.
He presided Tuesday as Senate Democrats plus five Republicans shot down Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) resolution to dismiss the impeachment trial as unconstitutional. Earlier in the day, Paul took shots at Leahy, expressing indignation that a “partisan Democrat” would be presiding as judge. A Senate source told TPM that senators preside when the person impeached is not the current president.
The president pro tempore is usually the member of the majority party with the longest record of continuous service; Leahy is 80 years old.
Leahy preemptively dismissed Paul’s criticisms to reporters Monday.
“I’m not presenting the evidence, I’m making sure that procedures are followed,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any senator who over the 40-plus years I’ve been here, would say that I’ve been anything but impartial in ruling on procedure.”