Sen. Cassidy: “Republicans put the constitution above loyalty to a person”
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Louisiana’s senior U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy is responding to backlash from fellow Republicans after voting that holding the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is constitutional. Also, a political pundit thinks Cassidy is not done showing political independence on Capitol Hill.
Cassidy defends voting with a handful of other Republicans on a procedural measure that said the trial of Trump by the Senate is constitutional even though Trump has left office.
“Republicans put the Constitution above loyalty to a person,” said Cassidy.
He repeatedly says he is keeping an open mind as a juror in the trial. The constitution says the House can impeach and the Senate holds the impeachment trial.
“It isn’t that I’m leaning one way or the other. It is that I am balancing facts and will make a decision in a constitutional manner based on those facts,” said Cassidy.
The Louisiana GOP issued a statement saying, “The Republican Party of Louisiana is profoundly disappointed by Senator Bill Cassidy’s vote on the constitutionality of the impeachment trial now underway against a former President, now private citizen, Donald J. Trump.”
Furthermore, the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge voted to censure Cassidy.
This week Cassidy joined five other Senate Republicans in voting that the trial was constitutional. Trump’s lawyers say the proceeding is unconstitutional since Trump is no longer president, but the U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump while he was still in office and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, did not call a trial immediately after the House’s vote, resulting in the trial starting after Trump’s term expired.
“Bill Cassidy has been a very reliable conservative vote for his entire tenure in the United States Senate,” said Mike Sherman, FOX 8′s political analyst.
Sherman said Cassidy is showing more independence. Recently, Cassidy was one of 10 Republicans from the Senate to meet with President Joe Biden, a Democrat, at the White House in hopes of negotiating a COVID-19 relief package.
“What we’ve seen over the last few months is an independent streak where he’s willing to join a group of 10 Republicans to reach across party lines and, in the case of impeachment, be one of six to vote on a procedural and a constitutional matter,” said Sherman.
But there is no guarantee that Cassidy will vote to convict Trump of charges that he incited insurrection by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, as members of Congress were counting the Electoral College votes that would show Biden won the election.
“It would be a stretch to read too much into the vote that Bill Cassidy took with regard to his ultimate position on impeachment but what we’re seeing is a pattern of independence, he’s still a staunch conservative but he is showing an independent streak,” said Sherman.
Cassidy easily won re-election to a new six-year term in the fall of 2020.
“Senators have six-year terms and Bill Cassidy right now is sitting in a deep-red state with a lot of time left on his current term. Voters probably won’t remember in four years about this vote, so he has the benefit of insulation from electoral whiplash,” Sherman stated.
He says Cassidy may keep exhibiting independence.
“I think what we’re seeing is the break-out of Bill Cassidy becoming part of that elite group of senators which will be from both parties who are going to be those who craft major legislative deals, the ones who are willing to cross party lines,” said Sherman.
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