WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s longest-serving current member, 80-year-old Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, was taken to a hospital Tuesday evening for observation after not feeling well, a spokesman said.
Leahy was taken there for observation “out of an abundance of caution” after being examined by Congress’ attending physician, said Leahy spokesman David Carle.
Hours earlier, Leahy commenced his role of presiding over the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump by swearing in his fellow lawmakers. The actual trial will begin next month.
Leahy is presiding because he is the Senate’s president pro tempore, a largely ceremonial post. Chief Justice John Roberts presided over Trump’s first impeachment trial a year ago when Trump was still president.
The Senate president pro tempore job normally goes to the longest-serving member of the Senate’s majority party. Leahy was first elected in 1974.
Carle’s statement did not name the hospital to which Leahy was taken or provide further detail about his condition.
Leahy will be chairman once again of the Senate Appropriations Committee this year.
He is the fifth-oldest current senator. Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., 87, is the oldest.