Sen. Cassidy Explains Why He Flipped on the Constitutionality of an Impeachment Trial

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Posted: Feb 09, 2021 9:45 PM
Sen. Cassidy Explains Why He Flipped on the Constitutionality of an Impeachment Trial

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) was one of six Republicans to join Democrats in voting that it was constitutional to impeach a former president. His vote was seen as surprising considering he voted last month to end the proceedings, saying they were unconstitutional. According to the senator, his switch came down to how terrible former President Donald Trump's legal team was.

"I said I would be an impartial juror. Anyone listening to those arguments, the House [impeachment managers] were focused. They were organized. They relied on both precedent, the Constitution and legal scholars," he explained. "They made a compelling argument."

According to the Louisiana senator, President Trump's defense team were "disorganized" and did everything in their power to avoid talking about the constitutionality of the trial.

"When they did talk about it, they kind of glided over it, almost as if they were embarrassed of their arguments," Cassidy said. "Now, if I'm an impartial juror and one side is doing a great job and the other side is doing a terrible job on the issue at hand, as an impartial juror, I'm going to vote for the side that did the good job."

The main issue Cassidy said he had with the Trump defense team's arguments were that they failed to talk about the "issue at hand." Instead, their arguments were "random" and "disorganized."

As of now, the senator said, based on impartiality and arguments on constitutionality alone, the House impeachment managers did a better job.

There is still hope for the Trump team to win back Cassidy, at least on the conviction front. As of now, he said he doesn't know how he'll vote on convicting Trump for the one article of impeachment for "inciting a resurrection." 

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“I have not yet decided on how I will vote,” he said.