Trump Acquitted; Cassidy Votes “Guilty”
WASHINGTON (AP)--The Senate has acquitted Donald Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, bringing his trial to a close and giving the former president a historic second victory in the court of impeachment.
Seven Republicans voted to convict Trump. Voting to find Trump guilty were GOP Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Cassidy released a statement after the vote. Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, said:
“Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”
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The Louisiana Republican Party swiftly condemned Cassidy's vote.
And then the Louisiana GOP censured Sen Cassidy.
State Rep. Blake Miguez, R-New Iberia, the House GOP Leader, also condemned Cassidy's vote.
Romney’s “guilty” vote at Trump’s initial impeachment trial last February had made him the first senator to ever vote to convict a president of the same party.
Trump is the first president to be impeached twice, and he is also now twice acquitted as the majority of Republicans defended his actions. The Senate voted 57-43 that Trump is “not guilty” of incitement. Two thirds of the Senate, or 67 votes, was needed for conviction.
House Democrats argued that Trump caused the violent attack by repeating for months the false claims that the election was stolen from him, and then calling on his supporters to “fight like hell” just before they laid siege to the Capitol. Democrats argued that Trump had “obvious intent” as he egged on supporters they said were primed for violence.
Trump’s lawyers argued that the trial was brought on by Democrats’ “hatred” of Trump and that it was unconstitutional because he had left office. They said the rioters acted on their own accord, despite Trump’s words. And they argued that Trump was protected by freedom of speech and to convict him for something he said would set a dangerous precedent.