By David Jacobs
(Center Square) Louisiana’s two U.S. senators, both Republicans, are split on whether it would be constitutional to convict former President Donald Trump in an impeachment trial held after he has left office.
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, who previously said conviction would be unconstitutional, voted Tuesday with most of his Republican colleagues to halt the trial.
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, after listening to testimony Tuesday, voted to continue the trial and said he was keeping an open mind about 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,” Cassidy said in a prepared statement. “The House managers had much stronger constitutional arguments. The president’s team did not.”
The Louisiana GOP issued a statement praising Kennedy while declaring the party “profoundly disappointed” in Cassidy.
Six Republicans joined every Democrat in the 56-44 vote to continue the trial. The votes of two-thirds of senators is necessary to convict, after which a simple majority could ban Trump from seeking office again.