President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial will begin in the weeks ahead, but it seems that Chief Justice John Roberts wants no part of presiding over the proceedings, meaning that Vice President Kamala Harris would wind up taking Roberts’ place.
Politico reports that Roberts felt his role as presiding officer at the first Trump impeachment only served to make him a political punching bag:
“JOHN ROBERTS WANTS OUT OF JURY DUTY: Multiple Republican and Democratic sources close to the impeachment trial negotiations tell us that Supreme Court Chief Justice JOHN ROBERTS is looking to avoid presiding over impeachment proceedings.
“We’re hearing that Roberts, who for years has sought to keep the courts apolitical, was not happy he became a top target of the left during Trump’s first impeachment trial. ‘He wants no further part of this,’ one of our Hill sources says. A spokesperson for the chief justice declined to comment when our Josh Gerstein reached out.”
Also, since Trump will be an ex-president when the second trial begins, Roberts doesn’t feel bound by tradition and would rather pass on a second go around:
“The Constitution delegates the chief justice to oversee impeachments of presidents, but this time around Trump will be an ex-president. That’s why lawmakers and aides were talking through the weekend about two other figures who historically have presided over lower-level impeachments: the vice president and the longest-serving member of the chamber. But would KAMALA HARRIS really want to do this in her first week on the job? If not, Sen. PATRICK LEAHY (D-Vt.) could be the guy.”
Trump is charged with “incitement of insurrection” for remarks he made before thousands of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, resulting in the deaths of five people, including a member of the Capitol Police.
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