Patrick Joseph Leahy (born March 31, 1940) is a retired American politician and attorney who served as a United States senator from Vermont from 1975 to 2023, and also served as the president pro tempore of the United States Senate from 2012 to 2015 and from 2021 to 2023. A member of the Democratic Party, he chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Agriculture Commitee at various points during his 48-year tenure. Leahy is the third-longest-serving U.S. senator in history. Upon Representative Don Young's death in March 2022, he became the most senior member of Congress. Leahy was also the last of the Senate's "Watergate Babies"—Democrats first elected to Congress in the wave election of 1974 that followed President Richard Nixon's resignation over the Watergate scandal.At the time of his retirement, Leahy was the dean of his state's congressional delegation. He was also Vermont's longest-serving U.S. senator, as well as the first Democrat ever elected to the U.S. Senate from Vermont. He served as ranking member of the Appropriations Committee from 2017 to 2021 and became chairman in 2021. In 2001, Leahy and then–Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle were targeted by the anthrax attacks that killed five people. He was the presiding officer at Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, becoming the first senator to preside over a former president's impeachment trial.On November 15, 2021, Leahy announced that he would not seek reelection in 2022. He was succeeded by Peter Welch, who became the second Democrat to represent Vermont in the Senate.
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