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Analysis: John Roberts can't escape the shadow of Donald Trump

January 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 18.5%. 1 min read.

Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in Joe Biden on January 20 as the next president of the United States. But that historic ritual on the West Front of the US Capitol will not free Roberts of Donald Trump.

Even if that Senate possibility does not materialize for Roberts because of timing or other factors, the chief justice and judicial colleagues could face a barrage of Trump litigation caused by his final actions in office and lingering cases dating to his 2016 campaign.

The US Constitution dictates that the Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments after House action, and, "When the President of the United States is tried the Chief Justice shall preside. " The implication is that the chief justice oversees trials only for sitting presidents.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell said in a memo to senators outlining a possible trial timeline that whether Roberts would preside "after President Trump ceases to be President on January 20 . . .

"The chief justice presides when sitting presidents are impeached, and Donald Trump would no longer be president. "

When Roberts, in fact, finished presiding over Trump's impeachment trial in 2020, he told senators he looked forward to meeting again "under happier circumstances. "

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