BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Efforts to scratch former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial from the U.S. Senate’s February calendar failed Tuesday, despite votes from Louisiana’s two Republican senators.
Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy both voted to dismiss the case against Trump, accused of inciting the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. Another 43 Republican senators joined them.
“Democrats are now asking the Senate to impeach a president who isn’t president,” Kennedy said in a statement following his vote. “We don’t even know if that is constitutional.”
All 100 senators will serve as jurors for the impeachment trial. Kennedy has already voiced intentions to vote against impeaching Trump.
“These proceedings, in part, represent a thinly veiled effort by the uber-elites in our country, who look down on most Americans, to denigrate further those people who chose to vote for President Trump and not vote for President Biden,” Kennedy said.
Cassidy maintains he will keep an open mind ahead of the process.
“I’ll listen to the evidence and seek out, as much as possible, what the truth is,” he told reporters during a conference call Tuesday. “That will determine how I vote.”
Cassidy added this, when asked to elaborate on his standards for impeachment:
“If, worst-case scenario, there’s evidence that the president received an FBI briefing that people were putting out pipe bombs as they did, and people were organizing violence with an intent to kill people as they did that would be one thing.
“If, on the other hand, there’s testimony that the president didn’t know any of this and he was basically just giving what you would at a football game — fight, fight, fight — that’s another thing.”
Convicting Trump would require a two-thirds majority from the Senate. This essentially means 17 Republicans would have to join Democrats — assuming all 50 Democratic senators vote to impeach the former president.
The impeachment trial is set to start Feb. 9.