Louisiana’s Cassidy and Kennedy diverge on Trump impeachment

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FILE – In this July 24, 2020, file photo, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., delivers remarks to media after registering as a candidate to run as an incumbent in Baton Rouge, La. More than a dozen unions and citizens’ groups say unemployed workers will demonstrate at U.S. senators’ offices in nine Louisiana cities to demand continued $600 federal coronavirus unemployment benefits. Sens. Cassidy and John Kennedy are among Republicans supporting Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal to cut that benefit to $200 a week on top of state unemployment pay. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s two Republican U.S. senators are taking different approaches to the second impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump.

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy called the entire proceeding unconstitutional and an effort to smear those who voted to reelect Trump, while U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy said he doesn’t intend to “pre-judge” the case.

Both senators voted Tuesday against moving forward with the trial, however.

But Cassidy’s office described the senator’s vote as a procedural move that doesn’t necessarily reflect how he’ll vote on the impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In a call with reporters, Cassidy refused to say whether he believes Trump committed an impeachable offense.

“I’ll listen to the evidence and seek out as much as possible what the truth is — and that will determine how I vote,” said Cassidy, who was reelected last year.

Kennedy, who is up for reelection next year, issued a statement panning the trial. He said he will “vote again later in the impeachment trial to dismiss the impeachment proceedings” as unconstitutional.

He called the trial “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.”

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