The Louisiana Republican Party’s executive committee voted unanimously to censure Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) for casting a “guilty” vote on Saturday at former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, where Trump was charged with incitement of insurrection, but was subsequently acquitted.
In a statement after the Senate voted to acquit Trump, the Louisiana Republican Party wrote on Twitter: “We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Sen. Cassidy to convict former President Trump. Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him.”
We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Sen. Cassidy to convict former President Trump. Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him.
— Republican Party of Louisiana (@LAGOP) February 13, 2021
Cassidy, a second-term senator who just won re-election, was one of several Republican senators who voted to convict Trump. He released a brief statement after the vote, saying: “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”
Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty. pic.twitter.com/ute0xPc4BH
— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) February 13, 2021
In total, seven Republican senators joined Democrats in finding Trump guilty of incitement of insurrection, but the group fell short of the necessary 2/3rds majority — or 67 votes — that were needed to reach a conviction. The other “guilty” GOP votes came from Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Back in late January, Cassidy joined 44 Republican senators in voting that the impeachment trial was unconstitutional. However, he later became the only person to switch positions when lawmakers held a similar vote earlier this week. He later explained that vote to reporters: “If I’m an impartial juror, and I’m trying to make a decision based upon the facts as presented on this issue, then the House managers did a much better job.”
At the time, Cassidy also repeatedly dismissed attempts by a reporter to get him to comment on specific trial evidence, saying: “That is not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is, is it Constitutional to impeach a president who’s left office? And the House managers made a compelling, cogent case, and the president’s team did not.”
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), who previously voted that the impeachment trial was unconstitutional, explained that his constitutionality argument no longer applied, given the circumstances. “[T]he Senate is an institution based on precedent, and given that the majority in the Senate voted to proceed with this trial, the question of constitutionality is now established precedent. As an impartial juror, my role is now to determine whether House managers have sufficiently made the case for the article of impeachment against President Trump,” said Burr.
“The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors. Therefore, I have voted to convict,” Burr explained.