Last Updated on August 7, 2022 by Administrator
Patrick Leahy Biography | Sen Patrick Leahy | Who Is Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy (Patrick Joseph Leahy) is the American longest serving politician. He is serving as the senior United States Senator from Vermont, a seat to which he was first elected in 1974. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He held the position of President pro tempore of the United States Senate from 17th December, 2012 to 6th January, 2015. During that time he was third in the presidential line of succession.
He is an alumni of Saint Michael’s College where he graduated in 1961 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science, and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1964. He was an associate at the firm headed by Philip H. Hoff, then Governor of Vermont. He was appointed by Hoff in May 1966 to fill a vacancy as State’s Attorney of Chittenden County.
He is currently in his eighth six-year term of office and since since the death of Daniel Inouye in December 2012, the most senior member of the Senate. He is also the last of the Senate’s “Watergate Babies” – Democrats first elected to Congress in 1974. This was after President Richard Nixon’s resignation on 4th August, 1974 over the Watergate scandal.
He remains the only sitting U.S. Senator to have served during the presidency of Gerald Ford. He received the title of President pro tempore emeritus in January 2015. He is the current dean of the state’s congressional delegation. As of 2019, he is the only Democrat the state has ever elected to the Senate.
He is the former chairman of the Agriculture and Judiciary Committees, and has served as the ranking member of the Appropriations Committee since 2017. He was one of the two U.S. Senators targeted by the anthrax attacks in 2001 that killed five people. He is also the longest-serving Democrat in the current 116th Congress.
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Patrick Leahy Age
Senior senator Patrick Leahy was born on 31st March, 1940. He is 79 years old as of 2019.
Patrick Leahy Net Worth
Patrick Leahy has an approximated Net Worth of $300000.
Patrick Leahy Family
Born in Montpelier, Vermont, Patrick Leahy is the son of Alba and Howard Francis Leahy, a printer. His maternal grandparents were Italian, and his father was of Irish ancestry; some of his ancestors came to Vermont in the 19th century to work at the granite quarries and manufacturing plants in Barre Town and Barre City.
Patrick Leahy Wife | Mark Leahy Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy got married to his wife Marcelle Pomerleau in 1962. Marcelle is bilingual with French Canadian heritage from Quebecois immigrants to Vermont. They have three children – Kevin, Alicia and Mark. Mark is an actor. They have resided in a farmhouse in Middlesex, Vermont, since moving from Burlington.
Patrick Leahy Batman | Patrick Leahy Dark Knight | Patrick Leahy Vermont | Patrick Leahy Bernie Sanders
Senator Patrick Leahy, a self-confessed Batman fan, has filmed five cameo appearances in Batman movies, and voiced one for an animated episode. He has also written multiple introductions for DC Comic anthologies. His first Batman-related work was the written foreword to Batman: The Dark Knight Archives: Volume 1 (1992), a hardcover anthology of the first four issues of the Batman comic book.
Three years later, Leahy had an uncredited cameo in Batman Forever, and voiced a Territorial Governor in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series set in the American southwest of 1883. Leahy’s Dark Knight cameo was notable for his interaction with The Joker (Heath Ledger), in which he tells the Joker “We’re not intimidated by thugs”, to which the Joker replies, “You know, you remind me of my father. I hated my father.”
In The Dark Knight Rises, Leahy’s character defends the Wayne family against John Daggett’s attempt to usurp control of Wayne Enterprises. It is possible, but unconfirmed, that “Gentleman at Party” and “Board Member #2” are the same character. All royalties and fees from Leahy’s roles have been given, as charitable donations, to the Kellogg-Hubbard library in Vermont where he read comic books as a child.
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Patrick Leahy Interview
Q: When Ashcroft was nominated, which you both opposed, what were your concerns about what might happen to the Justice Department under him?
Patrick Leahy: I was concerned it would become politicized.
I often tell the story of being a young law student at Georgetown, and the then Attorney General inviting several of us down. I think because of our grades or whatever, they were looking at possibly recruiting us to become members of the Justice Department. I remember asking the then Attorney General how much influence the White House would have over, say, criminal prosecutions or civil rights prosecutions, things like that. I was thinking primarily in the area of prosecutions. He said, I told the President that neither he nor anybody from the White House could interfere with anything.
Subsequently, a person who was very instrumental in the President’s being elected committed a crime and the Attorney General prosecuted him. That Attorney General was Ted Kennedy’s brother Robert Kennedy, and the President was his brother John Kennedy! And you know what a closely knit family they were. I was always impressed with that, and I talked to Ted about that story about his brother, whom I met a few times, but obviously I didn’t begin to know him as well I know Ted.
Both Ted and I felt that Ashcroft would play politics with the Department of Justice. We both feel the Department of Justice is important. Most of the people there—You have no idea if they’re Republicans or Democrats—are just hardworking men and women. We both felt that Ashcroft would politicize it, but we didn’t realize how much worse it could be politicized until Alberto Gonzales came. Kennedy was very helpful to me as I helped push Gonzales out. He knew instinctively how government should work and knew when it didn’t.
Q: When you got to the Patriot Act, did you have concerns at that point? Both you and Kennedy were involved in its enactment; you both supported it and felt that it was necessary at the time. Did you expect the Bush administration to use it to push the limits as far as it did?
Patrick Leahy: Nobody expected it to be pushed to the limits that far because nobody—They pushed it into areas of illegality, and you assume the White House is going to follow the law. But I had urged, and Ted had supported me, it having sunset provisions, just in case they didn’t follow the law. It turned out that that was a wise thing to do, because they did not follow the law. In fact, it wasn’t until some time later that we found out how flagrantly they were breaking the law, and how willingly they were breaking the law. We first found out about that in the Congress, when the New York Times had exposed it. It turned out that a number of people in the Congress, Republicans or Democrats, who were supposed to be apprised of what they were doing had never been apprised.
Q: You’ve both been very concerned about civil liberties. What were some of the ways that you and Kennedy saw the Bush administration infringing on civil liberties, and what did you try to do about it?
Patrick Leahy: We saw it in the selective enforcement of the laws; with the civil rights laws it was selective nonenforcement. The interfering with voting rights was a concern to both of us, and Ted would express it. Keep in mind that at this point he was concentrating predominantly on the HELP [Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions] Committee, but when we had a major matter in Judiciary, I invited all the Democratic members to come in and talk about it. His opinion was the one we all wanted to hear above anybody else.
Q: When it got to the Patriot Act, as you saw what the Bush administration was doing, what were the areas that—Both you and Kennedy opposed it when it got to the reauthorization in 2006. Did you have similar concerns about it, or were there particular areas about which he was particularly concerned and others about which you were particularly concerned?
Patrick Leahy: I think they were the areas of reporting, transparency, checks and balances, the requirement to go to the courts—
Q: The warrantless wiretapping?
Patrick Leahy: Yes. Everything that we suspected could possibly go wrong—Things that could be a temptation to the Executive—In almost every single area, they were unable to resist the temptation.
Q: When you go back to 9/11 and you look at it from the perspective of 2009, do you regret its enactment, or do you think it was necessary?
Patrick Leahy: There were some parts of it that were very good. Parts of it simply codified existing law. Those are the parts that usually are not talked about: what could be obtained through search warrants or by letter from the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation]. A number of these things were brought up to date. For example, much of the wiretap laws in the United States were made back in the old analog days. We tried to bring it up into the digital age. It makes sense that when somebody gets a court-ordered wiretap, instead of on just one specific number, being able to wiretap them in their house, their car phone, their cell phone, and so forth. Those parts were all good; I don’t think anybody had any problem with those parts and bringing things up to date.
We all opposed the most extreme parts of the changes the White House wanted. We were able to stop most of them, but then when it required reporting and checks and balances, the reporting wasn’t followed and the checks and balances weren’t followed.
Q: How soon were the two of you aware of how the Bush administration was using the Patriot Act?
Patrick Leahy: We suspected some of it, but we didn’t find out until the press accounts, really. I would—I don’t know about Ted—talk to the intelligence community and know that they weren’t getting any of this information.
Q: Thank goodness for the press.
Patrick Leahy: It’s not unlike what happened back in the days of—
Q: Iran Contra for instance.
Patrick Leahy: Yes. I remember once, in an Intelligence Committee meeting, when Bill Casey, who was up for about the third time in a fewer number of weeks, said something like, I know by law I’m supposed to tell you about such and such, and I forgot, but now that it’s been in the paper— Each time we heard about it first in the newspaper, nobody in Congress had been told, so about the third time they did it, I said, You know, you can save a great deal of money. I get the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] briefing almost every day. They had to go through a lot to put it together. Why don’t you just take the New York Times and mark it ‘Top Secret’? This has three advantages: first, I’ll get the information a lot quicker than I get it from you; secondly, I’ll get it probably in greater detail than I get it from you; and thirdly, you know there is that wonderful crossword puzzle. The agency, for some reason, did not find that funny. I thought it was one of my better lines.
Q: [laughing] It was. Did he mumble in response?
Patrick Leahy: He muttered. One of the agents in the room with him started to laugh, but a look from Casey that would have shattered concrete—The poor guy has been on assignment ever since; nobody knows where he is. [laughing]
Q: In Timbuktu perhaps.
Patrick Leahy: Yes.
Q: Why do you think you were targeted for the anthrax attacks?
Patrick Leahy: I have often wondered that; it’s a huge question in my mind. It was a tragic thing; five people died during that anthrax thing. Out of the five that died, I think only one of them was targeted—well, maybe two: a woman on a subway in New York; an elderly woman, through a letter that she had connected with the others; postal workers just doing their jobs. The letter addressed to me that I was supposed to open killed at least one person, maybe two.
I don’t feel any danger from whoever did it, but I just want to know why. Why me? Why [Thomas] Daschle? Why the reporter at the National Enquirer? Why Tom Brokaw? I do not, for even a nanosecond, think the man that committed suicide, if he was involved, was the only person. I’m not convinced he wasn’t involved, but I’m not convinced he was the only person. I’d like to know who did it and why. Why me?
Q: Did it give you any sense of the kind of death threats that Kennedy has had to live under?
Patrick Leahy: To some extent, but he received so many more. I was used to some death threats when I was a prosecutor. In one case, I went out and personally arrested the man. Before that sounds too crazy, I did have a SWAT [special weapons and tactics] team with me.
Q: [laughing] I should hope so.
Patrick Leahy: But Teddy, who could easily ask for it and would get, if he wanted, Capitol Police security, declines it. He gets death threats all the time. I’m not sure I could bear up under that, especially in his case, with two brothers having been assassinated. I was happy to get rid of the security I had a couple of years after the anthrax thing. I said, Look, whoever it is, is not coming back. I don’t need them. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t want it, because you do lose some of your freedom and spontaneity, but the Senate would provide security for him were he to ask for it, at least I assume they would, because he’s gotten so many threats. But I’ve walked back and forth to the Capitol with him, and hoards of people come up, and he smiles and shakes hands and keeps on going.
Q: I suppose you can’t live in fear.
Patrick Leahy: He does just the opposite; he lives without precaution.
Q: Yes.Tell me about his opposition to the war in Iraq, and the concerns that ultimately carried over to the concerns about military tribunals and the treatment of detainees, which both of you have worked on.
Patrick Leahy: He was right in his opposition to the war in Iraq, and I don’t think that was the majority view in Massachusetts; it was not the majority view in Vermont. We both opposed it. We both could be very clear for going into Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden. Had they stuck with just that, they would have gotten Osama bin Laden. That’s part of the tragedy: going into a war in Iraq, where there were no weapons of mass destruction, where it posed no threat to us. There were no Al Qaeda there. Now they have a lot of Al Qaeda and there is a threat.
He was shaped somewhat by his own experience with Vietnam, both of us with Vietnam. He wasn’t about to give a blank check to anybody. That mistake was made with the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. You’d have to ask him what went through his mind, but both of us were very comfortable with our votes.
Bob Graham, a conservative Democrat who was the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, voted against the war and urged other Senators to go and see—He’d tell us which reports to look at. We’d have to read a classified version, and some people would come to the same conclusion I did. I talked to many people in the agency, and others, and came to the conclusion that there was nothing there, which was what the agency concluded. But it was a show of muscle, and the White House was actively implying that Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11, even though he wasn’t. So much of the poll-taking around that time showed that well over half of the people in America thought we had to go into Iraq because of what Saddam Hussein did to us, even though he did nothing.
Patrick Leahy: As a result, the guy who did mastermind 9/11 got away.
Q: Is still there. Yes, I know. Well, you have been generous with your time. Thank you.