Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy on Sunday compared the impeachment trial against former President Trump to a Soviet “show trial” — but said he will keep an open mind during the Senate trial this week.
“There was no process. If it happened in the Soviet Union you would have called it a show trial,” the Louisiana senator said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The Louisiana Republican said the House vote to impeach Trump for a second time over “incitement of insurrection” was not a process worthy of the US democracy. Cassidy and 44 other Republicans voted to dismiss the upcoming trial on constitutional grounds.
“It was called two hours before it, there was no debate or no explanation from either side. It was a vote based on a moment of time,” Cassidy said.
“Let’s face it, the House did a incredibly poor job of building the case before the impeachment vote. The president wasn’t there, he wasn’t allowed counsel, they didn’t amass evidence, in five hours they kind of judged and boom he’s impeached.”
When asked if his vote on Tuesday’s Senate trial will be predetermined, Cassidy said he will review the evidence.
“No I don’t. I think it depends upon that which is presented,” he told host Chuck Todd. “We will now have hopefully presentations from both sides and we will consider the evidence as impartial jurors.”
Democrats claim then-President Trump is to blame for the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. If the Senate convicts him — an outcome that would require a two-thirds vote — Trump could be barred from ever holding office again.
Trump’s lawyers have argued that he can not be impeached because he is no longer in office.
The Senate trial is set to kick off on Tuesday.
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