Senate

GOP senator says House impeachment arguments were ‘persuasive’

Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.), who is considered a swing Republican vote in former President Trump’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 Raskin (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 Cassidy of Louisiana, who voted with 44 other Republican senators late last month in favor of an amendment sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul (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 Capito (R-W.Va.). “I didn’t think it was constitutional to impeach a former — a citizen. So, but I thought their presentation was good.”

Tags Bill Cassidy constitutional Donald Trump Impeachment Jamie Raskin Pat Toomey Rand Paul senate impeachment trial Shelley Moore Capito

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