Republican senator lays into Trump lawyers for ‘terrible job’ on impeachment defence

'Trump’s team was disorganised, they did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand,' the senator said

Stuti Mishra
Wednesday 10 February 2021 11:17
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<p>Bill Cassidy says Democrats made ‘compelling argument’ in the impeachment hearing</p>

Bill Cassidy says Democrats made ‘compelling argument’ in the impeachment hearing

A GOP senator voted in favour of impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump because of the “terrible job” the former president’s lawyers did in defending him. 

Bill Cassidy of  Louisiana said he decided to vote in favour of the proceedings because Mr Trump’s attorney was disorganised and random, while the Democrats' impeachment managers were “focused.”

“Trump’s team was disorganised, they did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand. And when they talked about it, they kind of glided over it, almost as if they were embarrassed of their arguments,” Mr Cassidy told reporters at the Capitol. 

The Louisiana senator became one of the six GOP members who voted along with 50 Democrats on whether a former president can be tried after leaving office. The House voted with a 56 to 44 majority to move ahead with the second trial of Mr Trump, declaring it constitutional. 

However, Mr Cassidy’s move came as a surprise to many as he earlier voted against the proceedings in January on the ground that it was unconstitutional. 

Read more: Follow live Trump impeachment updates

“Now if I’m an impartial juror and one side is doing a great job and the other side is doing a terrible job on the issue at hand, as an impartial juror, I’m going to vote for the side that did the good job,” Mr Cassidy said after his vote. 

However, he also clarified that it is not clear yet whether he will also vote for impeaching Mr Trump. He also refused to say whether he believes Mr Trump committed an impeachable offence. 

“I have not yet decided on how I will vote,” he said.

His move also drew stark criticism from Republicans as the GOP, Louisiana, issued a statement condemning Mr Cassidy and praised Louisiana's junior GOP senator, John Kennedy, for voting against moving ahead with the impeachment trial. The party said it was “profoundly disappointed” by his vote.

“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,” the party's statement said.

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