Cassidy Explains His Vote to Convict Trump in Column

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) penned a column published on Sunday defending his decision to vote against former President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.

Cassidy, who was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump, wrote in an op-ed published in the Louisiana newspaper The Advocate that he was convinced the former president “was actively subverting the peaceful transfer of power.”

“I voted to convict former President Trump because he is guilty. That’s what the facts demand,” Cassidy said.

The Louisiana senator took issue with Trump’s effort to question the integrity of the 2020 election over a slew of voting and counting irregularities and allegations of fraud. The former president and his team disputed the results of several key swing states in the courts in an attempt to prevent election officials from counting ballots that they say were “illegal.”

A majority of those cases were dismissed by judges on procedural grounds such as lack of jurisdiction or standing. In some cases, the judges were not convinced by the allegations presented by the Trump team.

Cassidy argued that he believes Trump’s interactions with state officials, the Jan. 6 rally organized by members of the pro-Trump nonprofit group called Women for America First, and his speech that day were all part of a “calculated campaign to lie about the election.”

He also apportioned blame to Trump for the lack of National Guard response on Jan. 6. However, the senator did not address the claim by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that the former president had offered to deploy 10,000 National Guard troops in Washington D.C. prior to Jan. 6 multiple times but was rebuked.

“We also know that in January, but also throughout the summer, that the president was very vocal in making sure that we had plenty of National Guard, plenty of additional support because he supports our rule of law and supports our law enforcement and offered additional help,” Meadows told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo earlier this month.

“Even in January, that was a given, as many as 10,000 National Guard troops were told to be on the ready by the Secretary of Defense,” Meadows said. “That was a direct order from President Trump and yet here is what we see … all kinds of blame going around but yet not a whole lot of accountability.”

The Pentagon and the office of Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser did not respond to The Epoch Times’s previous requests for comment.

On Jan. 6, former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump had directed the National Guard to send forces, along with other federal protective services, to respond to the rioters and protesters.

The Louisiana senator, who also joined Democrats in voting to allow the trial to proceed, has since faced backlash for his decisions. The Republican Party of Lousiana voted unanimously to censure Cassidy on Feb. 13. Cassidy was previously censured by the Republican Party in East Baton Rouge for his vote affirming the constitutionality of the Senate impeachment trial.

Other Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach or convict Trump have faced similar backlash in their home states through censures by their state Republican parties or threats of primary challenges.

“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 said.

He also called on Louisianans to “move on from this ugly chapter in our history.”

“It is time to come together to focus on COVID-19 recovery, create jobs, and make a better life for everyone in Louisiana,” he wrote.

Cassidy has also expressed his approval for “a complete investigation about what happened on Jan. 6” amid a push for a 9/11-style commission to probe the tragedy.

Trump was ultimately acquitted by a Senate vote of 57-43 on the impeachment charge that he “incited” the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol. Sixty-seven votes were needed to convict the president.

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan

February 15, 2021 6:46 am

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