GOP senator says House impeachment arguments were 'persuasive'

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote MORE (Pa.), who is considered a swing Republican vote in former President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE’s second impeachment trial, said on Tuesday that the opening arguments by House Democrats were “very strong” and “well grounded in the Constitution and precedent.”

Toomey made his comments after voting with five other Republican senators on a motion to proceed with Trump’s trial as a constitutional exercise.

“I thought the House impeachment managers made very strong arguments. It was persuasive and well grounded in the Constitution and precedent,” Toomey told reporters.


The comments from Toomey came after Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinSix House Democrats ask Garland to review case of lawyer placed under house arrest over Chevron suit Democrats seek to keep spotlight on Capitol siege Congress and the administration cannot play games with the Congressional Review Act MORE (D-Md.), the lead House impeachment manager, yielded back his rebuttal time during the first day of arguments over Trump’s impeachment.

Toomey described the case presented by Trump’s lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, as “weaker.”

“I think they had a weaker case to start with, and I don’t think it was very persuasive,” he said.

Asked if the minds of any Republican senators were changed, Toomey replied, “I have no idea.”

The opening round of arguments also appeared to influence at least one GOP senator, Bill CassidyBill CassidyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Biden sales pitch heads to Virginia and Louisiana Republicans hammer Biden on infrastructure while administration defends plan MORE of Louisiana, who voted with 44 other Republican senators late last month in favor of an amendment sponsored by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask Overnight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna MORE (R-Ky.) declaring the trial of a former office holder unconstitutional. 

Forty-four Republicans voted Tuesday afternoon against proceeding with the trial, including some lawmakers who acknowledged the House impeachment managers did a good job.

“It's a constitutional question,” explained Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week Biden pitches infrastructure plan in red state Louisiana House to advance appropriations bills in June, July MORE (R-W.Va.). “I didn't think it was constitutional to impeach a former — a citizen. So, but I thought their presentation was good.”