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Cassidy pens column explaining vote to convict Trump

Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyTrump was unhinged and unchanged at CPAC Republicans, please save your party Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra MORE (R-La.) penned a column for the Louisiana newspaper The Advocate on Sunday explaining why he voted to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump 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 PenceClyburn: Allowing filibuster to be used to deny voting rights would be 'catastrophic' Sunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll 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.