BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana republican senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy voted Tuesday, Jan. 26, to end President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial before it begins.
They joined with 43 other republican senators in calling the trial “unconstitutional” because Trump is no longer in office. Democrats accuse the former commander-in-chief of stirring up a revolt at the capitol on Jan. 6, prior to President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The measure failed and the trial will begin during the second week of February.
“These proceedings, in part, represent a thinly veiled effort by the uber-elites in our country, who look down on most Americans, to denigrate further those people who chose to vote for President Trump and not vote for President Biden,” Kennedy said, in a statement, after the vote.
“As a senator, I am to serve as a juror,” Cassidy said. “I’ll listen to the evidence and seek out, as much as possible, what the truth is. That will determine how I vote.”
He said the rioters should be prosecuted as severely as the law will allow, but defended the Trump supporters who came to Washington, D.C. to protest peacefully.
“I had personal friends who came to that event. They are grandparents,” Cassidy said. “That entire group - minus the anarchists and insurrectionists - were there to exercise their first amendment rights. They should not be put into the same category.”
He laid out a worst-case hypothetical scenario for Trump in the impeachment trial, where witnesses testify that Trump knew some of his supporters planned to bomb and kill, but encouraged a march to capitol hill anyway.
“If, on the other hand, the president didn’t know any of this, and he’s basically just giving - like you would at a football game - a ‘Fight, fight, fight’ - that’s another thing. I’m not going to pre-judge. I’m going to listen to the evidence,” Sen. Cassidy said.
The impeachment trial of President Trump is scheduled to begin on Feb. 9.
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