Bill Cassidy says Trump defense should focus on impeachment charge
Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy said on Sunday that former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense should focus on whether he contributed to an atmosphere that launched the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
“I have said already, as I did a year ago, that I will wait to judge based upon the evidence presented,” Cassidy said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“The evidence, as I understand,” Cassidy said, “is going to focus on whether or not the president contributed to an atmosphere to have people charge the Capitol, break in, threatening, if you will, both members of Congress and Vice President Pence. That’s the charge. So, I would hope that whatever defense is put up refutes that charge.”
Cassidy’s suggestion that the defense should focus on the charge against the president follows reports that members of Trump’s legal team resigned just days before the trial following a disagreement over how the defense should be constructed. Trump reportedly wanted his team to continue spewing his false claims that the Nov. 3 presidential election was stolen.
Cassidy said he has “no clue” what the scattered legal team means for the set trial date of Feb. 9 in the Senate. He has been in the camp of Republicans who felt the president had inadequate time to form a rebuttal after the House impeached him. But the senator said Sunday he was not sure if the latest developments warrant a delay.
“I always thought the president had insufficient time to come up with a rebuttal and this makes it perhaps even more insufficient,” Cassidy said. “But in a sense it might be the president, I don’t know that for sure, who has contributed to this, so I think this needs to be worked out.”