Cassidy pens column explaining vote to convict Trump

Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyBipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor The Hill's Morning Report - High-profile COVID-19 infections spark new worries GOP centrists call on Schumer to delay infrastructure vote MORE (R-La.) penned a column for the Louisiana newspaper The Advocate on Sunday explaining why he voted to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE in the Senate impeachment trial.

Cassidy has faced backlash since he voted — along with six other Republicans and every Democrat — to convict Trump, but he says he did so because the former president “is guilty” of inciting the rioters at the Capitol and “clearly intended to prevent a peaceful transfer of power.”

“Rather than defending the Constitution, President Trump was actively subverting the peaceful transfer of power, which is a bedrock principle of the Constitution,” the senator wrote. 

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“Even as Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Bipartisan congressional commission urges IOC to postpone, relocate Beijing Games Noem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event MORE was being evacuated to a safe location by Secret Service agents because the mob was approaching the Senate chamber, President Trump was calling Senators trying to block certification,” Cassidy added.

The Louisiana Republican slammed Trump for not activating the National Guard and not instructing the mob that overtook the Capitol to back down “at the first opportunity,” saying he instead waited two hours before requesting the rioters leave. 

Cassidy noted that because Trump decided not to testify in front of the Senate, he relied on the timeline, Trump’s tweets and his actions when determining his vote. The senator cited the former president’s promotion of unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, failed legal battles to overturn the election and his speech to rallygoers shortly before the Capitol breach.

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

“I have no illusions that this is a popular decision,” he continued. “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.”

Trump was ultimately acquitted in the Senate this weekend after the House impeached him accusing him of inciting an insurrection a week before his presidency ended. 

The Justice Department has arrested more than 200 people involved in the Capitol raid including several who claim they were following the former president’s directions. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died due to injuries sustained the day of the attack.