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Louisiana senators stay silent as House approves impeachment

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 7:10 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - After the U.S. House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time in four years on Wednesday, Jan. 13, the charge of “incitement of insurrection” will now head to the Senate for trial.

However, there’s no rush for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He’s opting to wait until after Joe Biden’s inauguration next week. It was a bipartisan vote in the House. Ten Republicans sided with Democrats, saying the president incited violence that led to the deadly protest at the U.S. Capitol. Louisiana’s delegation voted on party lines. Republicans voted against and the state’s lone Democrat, Rep. Cedric Richmond, voted in favor of impeachment. But will there be enough Republicans in the Senate to convict President Trump?

“I think it depends on if Mitch McConnell decides to convict,” said Jon Decker, Gray TV White House Correspondent. “I think if he does, a lot of these establishment Republicans will follow suit.”

Seventeen Republicans will have to vote with Democrats to convict. McConnell said he wants to weigh the evidence before making a decision. However, Louisiana’s two senators have been quiet. KALB has made multiple attempts for more than a week to interview Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy and their offices have declined. They have both stayed silent on social media as well. Cassidy made some posts but did not take a side on impeachment. Kennedy hasn’t made a post since the day of the U.S. Capitol incident. This comes after he was one of a few senators who publicly objected to the electoral college count.

Although we don’t yet know where they stand, bi-partisan support in the House may be an indicator.

“It’s pretty significant. Once you look back at Bill Clinton, who was also impeached back in the 1990′s, five Democrats voted to impeach the president. This time it’s double that, it’s 10 Republicans,” said Decker. “Once the trial takes place, Mitt Romney is one of those individuals that will vote to convict the president. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is another Republican who may vote to impeach the president.”

President-elect Joe Biden reacted on Twitter Wednesday night saying in part:

”I hope they’ll deal with their constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation.”

This is all happening less than a week before his inauguration - an administration that’s now starting during an impeachment hearing while grappling with a pandemic.

“I think you could bring sort of a dark cloud into the administration and ultimately could backfire for a lot of leading Democrats,” said Dr. Shannon Stanley, LSUA Adjunct Political Science Professor.

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