Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the president pro tempore of the Senate, is back home after being briefly hospitalized Tuesday afternoon.
Leahy, who earlier in the day was sworn in to preside over the second impeachment trial against former president Donald Trump, was sent to an undisclosed hospital “out of an abundance of caution” after being examined by the Capitol Attending Physician.
“This evening, Sen Leahy was in his Capitol office and was not feeling well,” Leahy’s spokesperson David Carle said 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.”
In a follow-up statement, Leahy's spokesperson said that, "after getting test results back, and after a thorough examination, Senator Leahy now is home. He looks forward to getting back to work."
"Patrick and Marcelle deeply appreciate the well wishes they have received tonight," he added.
As the president pro tempore of the Senate, Leahy must oversee proceedings in the absence of Vice President Kamala Harris. And as the senior-most member of the Senate, 80-year-old Leahy is third in the presidential line of succession behind Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presided over Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, but since Trump is no longer in office, Leahy is presiding over the trial.
Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. Trump was impeached on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the Jan. 6 mob that overran the Capitol building in Washington.
Leahy is also one of the oldest sitting members of the Senate — only Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) are older than Leahy.