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IJR

Sen. Bill Cassidy Declines To Say Whether He Doubts Trump Incited the Capitol Riot

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Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) says he is holding off on making a judgment call as to whether former President Donald Trump incited the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Cassidy was asked if he has a doubt that Trump bears responsibility for the violence. He said, “Ask me after I hear the defense arguments.”

“You don’t make a decision as a juror until you hear both sides. Period, end of story,” he added.

He stressed that he would not make a decision on how he plans to vote until he hears arguments from Trump’s legal team to refute the charge that he incited the riot.

Cassidy said the House impeachment managers have done “very well” in the arguments. He noted that they laid out a timeline “in which you see the events unfold” and “the president’s inaction in calling out support for the police officers.”

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He also noted that the managers pointed out that while lawmakers were being evacuated, Trump was calling senators and asking them to vote to decertify the electoral votes.

He said he hopes Trump’s legal team can explain Trump’s actions.

Cassidy initially voted to declare the impeachment trial unconstitutional, as IJR reported.

However, after the opening remarks from the impeachment managers, he voted to let the trial proceed.

In a statement after his vote, Cassidy explained his decision, “We have heard arguments on both sides on the constitutionality of having a Senate trial of a president who has since left office. A sufficient amount of evidence of constitutionality exists for the Senate to proceed with the trial. 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,” he added.

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