Louisiana’s state Republican Party said Tuesday that it was “profoundly disappointed” in Sen. Bill Cassidy’s vote that the impeachment trial over former President Donald Trump is constitutional, joining several other state parties which have criticized or censured lawmakers for their votes against the former president.
“The Republican Party of Louisiana is profoundly disappointed by Senator Bill Cassidy’s vote,” the party said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
The party said that Trump was “innocent of the politically motivated, bogus charges” brought by a “kangaroo court” and praised Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) for voting that the trial was unconstitutional.
Cassidy (R-La.) was one of six Senate Republicans who voted with Democrats Tuesday to affirm the Senate’s authority to hold Trump’s impeachment trial for inciting an insurrection. Cassidy was lone GOP lawmaker to switch positions after previously voting that the Senate impeachment trial was not constitutional.
Cassidy defended his decision Tuesday, arguing that House impeachment managers made a better case than Trump’s defense, which he said did “a terrible job.” Trump’s attorneys, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, “didn’t talk about the issue at hand” and “had nothing,” Cassidy said.
“A sufficient amount of evidence of constitutionality exists for the Senate to proceed with the trial. This vote is not a prejudgment on the final vote to convict,” Cassidy wrote in a statement. “If anyone disagrees with my vote and would like an explanation, I ask them to listen to the arguments presented by the House Managers and former President Trump’s lawyers. The House managers had much stronger constitutional arguments. The president’s team did not.”
Trump himself was not pleased with his defense attorneys, who made weaving arguments at times.
With the Republican party in the midst of a conflict between Trump loyalists and those less eager to fully embrace the former president in the aftermath of his single term in office, several state parties have chastised lawmakers seen as insufficiently loyal to Trump.
The Wyoming Republican Party voted Saturday to censure Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for voting to impeach Trump, and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) faces potential censure from the Nebraska GOP’s central committee for not backing Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
Sasse responded the committee in a sharply-worded video.
“Politics isn’t about the weird worship of one dude,” Sasse said. “The party can purge Trump skeptics. But I’d like to convince you that not only is that civic cancer for the nation, it’s just terrible for our party.”
The Arizona Republican Party censured GOP Gov. Doug Ducey after he didn’t back Trump’s election subversion bid. The party also censured former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, Sen. John McCain’s widow, after they endorsed Joe Biden for president.
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