EAST BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish has issued a harsh formal rebuke of Republican U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy over his vote Tuesday against ending Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
“The Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish hereby censures Senator Bill Cassidy and holds him out as an object of shame,” reads the censure resolution adopted by the parish party leaders Wednesday, which notes that it is an action the organization has “never before taken.”
“We condemn Senator Cassidy’s actions in the strongest manner. He does not represent the people of this state or the Republican Party. He represents himself and has joined with some of the most dishonest and disreputable forces in our country to be part of this despicable sham.”
Cassidy represents Louisiana’s 6th District, which includes most of the state capital of Baton Rouge and its suburbs, as well as East Baton Rouge and ten other south-central Louisiana parishes. He was among six Republican senators who sided with Democrats on the question of whether a former president can be tried after leaving office. His position Tuesday was a switch from January, when he voted to end the proceedings on the grounds that they were unconstitutional.
The trial continued in the Senate Wednesday, just weeks after President Joe Biden took office following the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol. The Democratic-led House of Representatives impeached Trump on Jan. 13 on a single charge of inciting insurrection, focusing on a speech he made to supporters shortly before the D.C. riot.
The East Baton Rouge GOP’s formal censure of Cassidy rails against what it calls “outrageous, scurrilous and false attacks against Trump throughout his presidency,” and says the “the current charges against him of inciting an insurrection are completely false, malicious, and without merit.”
“His vote yesterday to allow the impeachment fiasco to continue was a betrayal of the people of Louisiana and a rebuke to those who supported President Trump and him.”
Cassidy’s vote drew swift criticism from Republicans in the senator’s deeply conservative state, but he said Trump’s attorneys didn’t make their case. While the Democrats’ impeachment managers were “focused, they were organized,” relying on precedent and legal scholars, Cassidy said Trump’s team “was disorganized, random, had nothing.”
“This vote is not a prejudgment on the final vote to convict. If anyone disagrees with my vote and would like an explanation, I ask them to listen to the arguments presented by the House Managers and former President Trump’s lawyers. The House managers had much stronger constitutional arguments. The president’s team did not.”
Cassidy posted another statement late Wednesday afternoon repeating his plea that critics who disagree with him listen to the arguments themselves, providing a link to watch them in their entirety.
The Louisiana GOP has released a statement saying it is “profoundly disappointed” by Cassidy’s vote and praising Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy for continuing to oppose the trial. The East Baton Rouge GOP also praised Kennedy in its rebuke of Cassidy Wednesday, calling him “a voice of reason upholding the rule of law and the Constitution.”
Cassidy has refused to say whether he believes Trump committed an impeachable offense.
“I have not yet decided on how I will vote,” he said.
The Associated Press Contributed to this report.