Louisiana Senator Shamefully Ignores Constitution, Walks Out of Impeachment Trial


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Despite making public assurances that he would fulfill their Constitutional obligations as impartial jurors in President Trump’s impeachment trial, Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy joined a large number of GOP Senators in leaving the Senate Chambers for prolonged periods of time, while crucial evidence was introduced against the President.

This afternoon, Michael McAuliff, Congressional reporter for the New York Daily News, tweeted that he counted “21 empty seats on the GOP side, a couple hours into [Representative] Schiff’s presentation.” Jon Ward of Yahoo News also observed that “more than a dozen” GOP Senators had left the chamber and were in the cloakroom, only two hours into Representative Schiff’s case against Donald Trump. Rep. Schiff (D-Calif.) was chosen by the Democrats as a lead impeachment prosecutor.

McAuliff noted particularly that Senator Cassidy was absent for a long period of time, as were Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Senator James Risch (R-Idaho). Remarkably, Senator Risch was also caught sleeping during the hearing on Monday.

Last week, all one hundred United States Senators were sworn in as jurors by the Chief Justice for the United States Supreme Court. Senator Cassidy, taking this oath, swore that “in all matters appertaining to the trial of the impeachment” of the President, he would be impartial.

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Senator Cassidy made a statement in a press release in December, affirming that “the Senate will offer President Trump a fair process” and that he looked forward to “fairly judging the facts.” Yesterday he tweeted: “I intend to be a fair and impartial juror and consider the facts, not let partisan distractions get in the way.”

Under the agreed-upon Senate rules for impeachment, the House of Representatives have no more than 24 total hours, over three days, to make their case as to why Donald Trump violated the United States Constitution and should be removed from office. Under Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of the Constitution, the Senate alone has the power to convict the President following impeachment, and they must do so by a two-thirds majority.

The fact that Senator Cassidy and several others charged with making this determination were absent for a substantial portion of the prosecution’s case caused many to opine on Twitter that they should be reprimanded or disqualified as jurors.

Newsweek noted that while the oaths of impartiality are not legally binding, the Senate could elect to impeach one of its own for violating the rules. The rules do not explicitly require the Senators to be seated during the trial, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) both told their camps they needed to be in attendance at all times – which Senator Cassidy failed to do.

In a recent Pew Research poll, a narrow majority of Americans (51 percent to 46 percent) would like to see the President removed from office, but almost two-thirds (63 percent to 36 percent) of Americans believe that Donald Trump has “definitely” or “probably” broken the law while either campaigning or serving in office.

McAuliff was surprised that Senator Cassidy was absent for so long, because he looked like “the most active note-taker” on the GOP side – at least prior to leaving the chamber in the middle of the hearing.

The fact that Senator Cassidy and other lawmakers were absent during a crucial part of the trial was not ignored by legal blogs. Law & Crime remarked that one-third of all GOP Senators missed the same crucial evidence in the President’s trial. They also contrasted Senator Cassidy’s absence with his promises to “listen to both sides with an open mind.” Bradley Moss, a national security attorney, observed that, of all jurors in all trials, only in the Senate can “‘jurors’ get to stand up and walk out during the prosecution’s presentation of the case.”

Conservative pundit Bill Kristol likened the behavior of Senators like Cassidy to endorsing a mockery of a trial. “I grew up reading about show trials in authoritarian nations abroad,” Kristol said on Twitter.” “I didn’t expect to see one of our two major parties endorse a show trial here in the U.S. Capitol.”

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26 thoughts on “Louisiana Senator Shamefully Ignores Constitution, Walks Out of Impeachment Trial

  1. Chief Justice Roberts phone # 1-202-479-3000. Tell him an impeachment with held-back information and no witnesses is unacceptable.

  2. As a Republican, their inability to pay attention to probably the most important thing that will happen during their terms marks a low point for the government representatives I voted for once upon a time. If they continue their lack of inattention TO THEIR JOB, they won’t get my vote again. It is reprehensible.

    1. Disgracefully nobody should be above the law please please make them all pay.What kind of example is being set. All eyes are on the United States.

    2. You are absolutely correct. These cowards don’t have any intention on doing their constitutional duty.

  3. Even CNN acknowledged members of both parties up and down and even leaving the room.

    As to violating the Constitution- that is a blatant lie. But also- I don’t suspect you will even attempt to actually prove your accusation.

  4. You guys need to report news the whole American public want to know. Even TV rates are down on this trial. Americans care about the economy, jobs, and healthcare!
    And don’t send me any emails. I don’t like your news!

  5. The senators that walked out during the opening arguments should be out of office and Donald Trump should be impeached no questions asked

  6. How can you say you represent the people when you stand for injustice and allow one man regardless if he is the President to do wrong and hurt the people of the United States. His action is hurtful. you will need votes again for your position.. remember you will ran for re-election.
    How can you even look at yourselves in the mirror knowing you are just as wrong as he is… You disrespected the Constitution of the United States…Shame on you.. Your time is coming back around..

  7. Louisiana Republicans in both the House and Senate should do themselves and Louisiana a Big Favor and Step Down….

  8. Impeach them all that ignore, deflect or walk out of this important trial. They are rigging it by demeaning it.

  9. They are nothing more than trump’s puppets, trump has done a good job creating his position as their fuehrer. It will cost the republican party, dearly and they are so arrogant to think that they are somehow invincible, but the voters will make that decision.

  10. Why were these “roaming” senators, 7 of whom wore Apple watches, not removed from the room? No excuse Justice Roberts!

  11. These clowns violated their solemn oath the minute the words left their mouths. They are reprehensible and don’t deserve to call themselves United States Senators. They have disgraced their office and betrayed their constituents’ trust.

    Note to Brian White–their “inability to pay attention” isn’t the issue–it’s the fact that they don’t care.

  12. This trial is a crucial part of the job our tax dollars are paying for. How can we stand for this outrage ! Remember this insult to to the Constitution, which protects US ALL, regardless of party the next time “our” LA Senators are up for re-election
    Arrogant and Shameful !

  13. It is unacceptable that Republican or Democratic senators leave the Impeachment hearings! We, the citizens, pay them to do a job, they are not doing their job!

  14. Can we expect more of the members of the U. S. Senate? Can we point them out to our children as persons they should choose as heroes? It seems not, when:
    1. GOP Senator Lindsey Graham suggested in advance of the receipt of the Articles
    that the Senate ought to “Deep Six” the Articles of Impeachment.
    2. Senate Majority Leader McConnell stated to the media in advance of the trial that he
    made no pretense of being impartial. Yet he, the highest officer in the Senate, took
    an oath ” …to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me
    God.”
    In addition Mr. McConnell and Senate leadership appear to make no effort to enforce
    their instructions as to attendance at and attention to the trial proceedings.
    3.The Junior Senator from Indiana, Mike Braun stated to a reporter as he left the
    chamber that he found the trial proceedings about as boring as a two hour lecture in
    college. Better ask your attorney to strike Mr. Braun if he should happen to be a part
    of the jury pool in your trial.
    4. Senators state that they want to get the trial over quickly so “they can get back to the
    really important business of legislating”. What is more important in acting as
    provided in our Constitution to act to check the Executive Branch when the President
    or other officials of the Executive Branch abuse the powers given to them in the
    Constitution?

    What an example our U.S. Senators are setting – and doing it openly and blatantly. Can it be that they don’t care? Are they so certain that their constituency is so focused on their personal agendas that they don’t care about morality and integrity of the occupant of the White House – he is their man – the rudeness, the slander, the lies, the rules be dammed.
    It is time, it is time, it is time to expect more of those who represent us It is time to say, “We Care – and if you don’t we will work to replace you with people who Do and Will!
    God help Us!

  15. Their walking out shows their disrespect for the seriousness of an impeachment, the laws of our nations and the constituents they represent. They need to be at the very least censured.

  16. The senators who ignored the rules about attendance at the senate trial should be disqualified as jurors, and not allowed to cast a vote on any matter coming up during the trial.

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