- GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy defended voting to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.
- Cassidy was one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump, who was ultimately acquitted.
- Cassidy has faced a backlash for his stance from Republicans in his home state, Louisiana.
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Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana has defended his vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, a vote for which Cassidy has faced backlash from his party.
In an op-ed article for the Baton Rouge newspaper The Advocate, Cassidy wrote that he “voted to convict former President Trump because he is guilty.”
“Rather than defending the Constitution, President Trump was actively subverting the peaceful transfer of power, which is a bedrock principle of the Constitution,” Cassidy wrote of Trump’s actions before the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.
He continued: “I have no illusions that this is a popular decision. I made this decision because Americans should not be fed lies about ‘massive election fraud.’ Police should not be left to the mercy of a mob. Mobs should not be inflamed to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”
Cassidy’s vote to convict Trump came as a surprise to many. Cassidy indicated during the trial he would most likely acquit the former president, who was impeached on a charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
Cassidy was one of seven GOP senators who joined all 50 Democrats in finding Trump guilty of inciting the Capitol attack. Trump was acquitted, since 67 votes were needed for conviction.
The Republican Party of Louisiana voted unanimously on Sunday to censure Cassidy for his vote.
—ABC News (@ABC) February 15, 2021
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Cassidy said he thought Trump’s power over the GOP was fading.
“I think his force wanes. The Republican Party is more than just one person,” Cassidy said.
“The Republican Party is about ideas,” he continued, adding: “Now the American people want those ideas, but they want a leader who is accountable and a leader who they can trust. I think our leadership will be different going forward but it will still be with those ideas.”
Cassidy’s defense came as a rift widened in the Republican Party between those who have condemned the former president and the millions of Republican voters and their congressional allies who have continued to back him.
Cassidy was reelected to the Senate in November, meaning he has nearly a full six-year term to serve before he is up for reelection.
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