Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought the impeachment trial to an end with a gift — the Senate’s Golden Gavel — for Chief Justice John Roberts.
As the voting concluded Wednesday with the acquittal of President Donald Trump — on both counts of impeachment — Roberts recognized McConnell and the Senate Majority Leader took the floor. (RELATED: Senate Votes To Acquit President Trump)
McConnell offered Roberts his sincere thanks, and then added, “We know full well that his presence as our presiding officer came in addition to, not instead of, his day job across the street. So the Senate thanks the Chief Justice and his staff who helped him perform this unique role. Like his predecessor, Chief Justice Rehnquist, the Senate will award Chief Justice Roberts the Golden Gavel to commemorate his time presiding over this body. We typically award this to new senators after 100 hours in the chair but I think we can agree that the Chief Justice has put in his due and then some.”
Roberts acknowledged the gift as it was delivered by one of the Senate pages — and following brief remarks from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Chief Justice himself gave a statement.
“I would like to begin by thanking the Majority Leader and Democratic Leader for their support as I attempted to carry out ill-defined responsibilities in an unfamiliar setting,” Roberts began. They ensured that I have the wise counsel of the Senate itself through its secretary and legislative staff. I am especially grateful to the parliamentarian and her deputy for their unfailing patience and keen insight.”
Roberts then extended a reciprocal invitation to any Senators who might want to visit the Supreme Court. “By long tradition and in memory of the 135 years we sat in this building to keep the front row of the gallery in our courtroom open for members of Congress who might want to drop by to see an argument or to escape one.”
“I also depart with sincere good wishes as we carry out our common commitment to the Constitution through the distinct roles assigned to us by that charter,” Roberts concluded. “You have been generous hosts and I look forward to seeing you again under happier circumstances.”