Sen. Cassidy breaks with GOP, votes to convict former President Trump

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRPROUD) — U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy voted Saturday to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting an insurrection, settling weeks of questions over whether the Louisiana Republican would break ranks with his party.

Cassidy joined 48 Democrats, two independents and six other Republicans in casting a “guilty” vote. But the 57 guilty ballots fell short of the 67 — or two-thirds’ majority — needed to convict the former president.

“Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person,” Cassidy said in a statement minutes after filing his vote. “I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”

Aside from Cassidy, the other Republican Senators who voted to convict the former president were: Richard Burr of North Carolina; Susan Collins of Maine; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Mitt Romney of Utah; Ben Sasse of Nebraska; and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

This is not Cassidy’s first time siding with Democrats during the impeachment process. He voted earlier this week to proceed with the impeachment trial, despite GOP-led claims that trying a former president would be unconstitutional.

“A sufficient amount of evidence of constitutionality exists for the Senate to proceed with the trial,” he said Tuesday. “The House managers had much stronger constitutional arguments. The president’s team did not.”

The Republican Party of Louisiana’s quickness to lambast Cassidy for his impeachment-related ballots reached a climax Saturday. A mere hour after the senator’s “guilty” vote, state party executives unanimously voted to censure the senator — who had voted with Trump 89% of the time and handily won reelection this past November.

“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Sen. Cassidy to convict former President Trump,” the Louisiana GOP wrote in a statement Saturday afternoon. “Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him.”

Cassidy’s vote also separates him from Sen. John Kennedy, the upper chamber’s other Louisiana Republican. Kennedy, who faces reelection in 2022, voted against the impeachment trial’s constitutionality days ago before voting to acquit Trump.

“The merits of the Democrats’ case were not even close,” Kennedy said in a statement Saturday. “The Democrats afforded the president no due process in the House — no hearings, no investigation, no right to be heard, no defense. No one is above the law, but no one is beneath it.”

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