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GOP senator compares Trump impeachment proceedings to Soviet 'show trial'

Louisiana Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyCalls grow for national paid family leave amid pandemic Senators urge Energy chief to prioritize cybersecurity amid growing threats Vivek Murthy confirmed as surgeon general MORE (R) knocked Democrats on Sunday over the speed at which the House voted to impeach former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE last month, comparing it to a "show trial," the likes of which he said would have been found in the Soviet Union.

Speaking with host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddFauci fatigue sets in as top doc sows doubt in vaccine effectiveness Blinken warns it would be a 'serious mistake' for Taiwan's status to be changed 'by force' Blinken: China 'didn't do what it needed to do' in early stages of pandemic MORE on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cassidy said he believed House Democrats had done an "incredibly poor job" at building a case for impeachment ahead of their vote last month. Ten House Republicans joined Democrats in voting in favor of impeaching Trump over inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

"The president wasn't there. He wasn't allowed counsel. They didn't amass evidence. In five hours, they kind of judged, and boom, he's impeached," Cassidy said. "Now, I'm told that under the Watergate, under the Clinton impeachments, there were truckloads of information. Here, there was a video. There was no process. I mean, it's almost like, you know, if it happened in the Soviet Union, you would've called it a show trial."

Cassidy went on to claim that there was no "defensible process" behind the House's impeachment vote. Despite the characterization and criticism of the proceedings, Cassidy claimed he would act as an impartial juror. 

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats hearing MORE (D-Calif.), who was the lead impeachment manager during the 2020 Senate impeachment trial, responded to Cassidy's remarks on MSNBC later Sunday, explaining that the House's speed was a result of "a real sense of urgency because the president had just incited a mob that attacked the Capitol and killed, resulted in the deaths of five people."

The senator's remarks are the latest sign that Democrats' efforts to convict Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 riot that overtook Congress will face a steep uphill battle in the Senate, where they would need 17 Republicans to vote in favor of conviction.

Republicans who voted in favor of impeachment in the House said afterward that it likely cost them their political careers. Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyTrump backs Wyoming GOP chair, citing Cheney censure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Trump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances MORE (Wyo.), the highest-ranking Republican to vote in favor of impeachment, later faced calls for her removal from leadership and censure from her state Republican party.