Seven Senate Republicans crossed the aisle Saturday and joined all 50 Democrats to vote to convict former President Donald Trump of having incited the riot at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. While nearly all of them were the usual anti-Trump suspects, one did raise a few eyebrows.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) was the surprise vote for conviction, and he revealed afterward that he had voted that way because he was convinced that Trump was “guilty,” The Hill reported.
“He is guilty”
In voting to convict Trump, Cassidy was joined by GOP Sens. Richard Burr (NC), Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mitt Romney (UT), Ben Sasse (NE), and Pat Toomey (PA).
In a brief video statement posted on Twitter, Cassidy said, “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”
Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty. pic.twitter.com/ute0xPc4BH
— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) February 13, 2021
Cassidy condemned, censured by state GOP
While the former president certainly has his detractors among conservatives and Republicans, Trump is still incredibly popular and beloved among the vast majority of the GOP base, and Cassidy’s apparent betrayal didn’t go over well.
The Associated Press reported that the Louisiana Republican Party immediately issued a statement of condemnation against Cassidy’s vote to convict, and soon followed that up with a unanimous vote from the executive committee to formally censure the senator for doing so.
“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Sen. Cassidy to convict former President Trump. Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him,” the state party posted on Twitter.
We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Sen. Cassidy to convict former President Trump. Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him.
— Republican Party of Louisiana (@LAGOP) February 13, 2021
Later, the Louisiana GOP issued a statement that read: “The Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Louisiana has unanimously voted to censure Senator Bill Cassidy for his vote cast earlier today to convict former President Donald J. Trump on the impeachment charge.”
Making a statement
While the statement of condemnation certainly sends a clear message, in this case, that’s about all that frustrated Louisiana Republicans can do, for now.
Cassidy was just re-elected to another six-year term as a senator from Louisiana in the November elections, so it won’t be until 2026 that disgruntled party members will be able to challenge him in a primary — assuming, of course, that Cassidy doesn’t decide to retire and opt out of running for a third term between now and then.