Sen. Cassidy gets Louisiana GOP backlash on Monday impeachment vote

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 5:17 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy is taking some heat back home over his impeachment vote Monday night. He voted with five other Republican senators joining Democrats saying it is constitutional to impeach former President Donald Trump. Louisiana’s other senator, John Kennedy, voted no.

The Louisiana Republican Party released a statement saying they’re disappointed in Sen. Cassidy.

“The Republican Party of Louisiana is profoundly disappointed by Senator Bill Cassidy’s vote on the constitutionality of the impeachment trial now underway against former President, now private citizen, Donald J. Trump. We feel that an impeachment trial of a private citizen is not only an unconstitutional act, but also an attack on the very foundation of American democracy, which will have far-reaching and unforeseen consequences for our republic. We also remind all Americans that former President Trump is innocent of the politically motivated, bogus charges now pending against him in a kangaroo court presided over by an openly hostile political opponent. How far justice has fallen in the short time that Democrats have been in control of the federal government! We salute Senator John Kennedy for remaining steadfast in his opposition to the fake impeachment trial now underway in Washington, DC. Senator Kennedy has clearly made the right decision once again.”

Sen. Cassidy says House managers made a better argument than the former president’s team.

“President Trump’s team was disorganized,” said Sen. Cassidy, to a pool of reporters after his vote on Monday night. “They did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand, and when they talked about it they kind of glided over it as if they were embarrassed about their arguments. Now I am an impartial juror and the other side is doing a terrible job as an impartial juror. I am going to vote for the side that did a good job.”

For weeks, Sen. Cassidy has said he wants to weigh the evidence before announcing his vote to convict or acquit, saying senators are meant to be unbiased jurors.

“Essentially they act as a jury, so to speak, to bring evidence against an elected official,” said Dr. Shannon Stanley, Adjunct Political Science Professor at LSUA. “What makes this interesting is we have an impeachment process going on now where there is not a sitting elected official in office. Essentially, it’s a private citizen being impeached.”

But for Democrats to get enough Republican votes for conviction seems like a stretch at this point. Only six GOP Senators voted to move forward. Seventeen of them will have to vote with Democrats for a conviction.

“It would be difficult even with substantial evidence, do they have that? I don’t know,” said Dr. Stanley. “But it is going to be really difficult to get a supermajority on this vote and that’s what it’s going to take. So, I don’t see it happening in the longterm.”

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