The Bourbon Room has learned from top Democratic sources that six-term U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, a staunch defender of President Bill Clinton during the GOP-led impeachment, will endorse Barack Obama for president during an 11 a.m. EST conference call.
Leahy will appear on the conference call with Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.
Leahy is the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and also led the fight against GOP efforts to delay and some cases deny confirmation of Clinton-nominated federal judges during the final two years of the Clinton presidency.
Leahy also opposed the Iraq war resolution and has been at the forefront of Democratic criticism of President Bush's detention policies for enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the Bush "terrorist surveillance" program.
Leahy also helped negotiate the first Patriot Act and was instrumental in reauthorizing the law with changes that reduced the federal government's power to search library and personal records of American citizens implicated but not charged in terrorist investigations.
Elected in 1974, Leahy is Vermont's longest serving senator and was among te first in the Senate to have an official website (launched in 1995) and in 2003 was the first senator to launch a personal blog "More from the floor."