Kamala Harris could preside over Trump impeachment trial if John Roberts doesn’t

  • Senate faces unprecedented challenge of putting a former president on trial
  • Impeaching hearing could begin as early as 1pm on Wednesday January 20 under Senate rules which say it overtakes all other business
  • No former president has ever gone on trial and the rules of who will preside are unclear
  • A sitting president’s impeachment trial is overseen by the Chief Justice – as happened a year ago when John Roberts presided 
  • But other options include Vice President-elect Kamala Harris because her constitutional role is to preside over the Senate
  • That option is unlikely given that Democrats will set the trial rules and they are likely to ask Roberts; they could also use president pro tempore Patrick Leahy 
  • Even timing remains unclear: if Nancy Pelosi sends article immediately trial could begin an hour after Biden is sworn in