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Louisiana GOP rebukes Cassidy over vote saying Trump trial constitutional

Louisiana GOP rebukes Cassidy over vote saying Trump trial constitutional
© Greg Nash

The Louisiana Republican Party on Tuesday issued a rebuke of Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyBipartisan lawmakers want Biden to take tougher action on Nicaragua The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Sights and sounds from Biden's UK visit Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (R-La.) over his vote declaring that former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE’s impeachment trial is constitutional.

Cassidy joined five other Republican senators and every Democrat in the upper chamber in rejecting an attempt to derail the proceedings. Cassidy had previously supported an effort by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulFauci to Chelsea Clinton: The 'phenomenal amount of hostility' I face is 'astounding' GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message Fox host claims Fauci lied to Congress, calls for prosecution MORE (R-Ky.) that would have declared the trial unconstitutional and was the only lawmaker to vote for that measure and flip Tuesday to say the trial can proceed. Cassidy also later said Trump's defense team was "disorganized."

“The Republican Party of Louisiana is profoundly disappointed by Senator Bill Cassidy’s vote on the constitutionality of the impeachment trial now underway against former President, now private citizen, Donald J. Trump,” the party said in a statement.

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“We feel that an impeachment trial of a private citizen is not only an unconstitutional act, but also an attack on the very foundation of American democracy, which will have far reaching and unforeseen consequences for our republic,” it added. 

The statement comes as the first day of Trump’s impeachment trial winds down.

The House, led by every Democrat and 10 Republicans, impeached Trump last month over his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill that resulted in the deaths of several people.

Republicans have overwhelmingly touted the idea that a trial is unconstitutional since Trump is now a private citizen, though that rationale has received pushback from several legal scholars, and Democrats, who control both the House and the Senate, have rejected the argument.

The Louisiana GOP heaped praise onto Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.), who voted to halt the trial, saying he remained “steadfast in his opposition to the fake impeachment trial” and “made the right decision.”

Cassidy is the latest lawmaker to be reprimanded by a state Republican Party over a vote or remark that is at odds with Trump. Among them are Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn Cheney House Democrats to Schumer: Vote again on Jan. 6 probe Cheney compares Trump claims to Chinese Communist Party: 'It's very dangerous' Stefanik pregnant with her first child MORE (R-Wyo.) who was censured by the Wyoming Republican Party for her vote to impeach Trump, and Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerWhy the Democrats need Joe Manchin Axios CEO says GOP before Trump will not return White House pressed on evacuating Afghan allies as time runs out MORE (R-Ill.), who was censured by a county Republican Party in his district.

Cassidy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.