Sen. Bill Cassidy (LA) — one of just a few Republican senators who has signaled he has not predetermined how he will vote on Trump’s fate in the Senate’s impeachment trial — said Thursday that wants Trump’s lawyers to explain the former president’s “inaction” to calls for support from law enforcement during the Capitol riot.
Cassidy told reporters he was concerned that while “panic-stricken” law enforcement were unable to stave off an attack from the pro-Trump mob, “the President was calling to try and get more senators to decertify the election.”
“Now, presumably, since we were at that point being evacuated and I think he was told that, there was some awareness of the events. So what I hope the defense does is explain that,” Cassidy said, lauding the performance by House impeachment managers.
The comments come after House managers on Thursday presented a case that homes in on how pro-Trump rioters specifically targeted Vice President Mike Pence, chanting calls for him to be hanged, and looking to hunt him down in the Capitol as Trump fired off a tweet that further stirred the mob in violent rage against the former vice president.
The Washington Post reported that growing evidence suggests Trump may have been personally informed that Pence was imperiled during the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, just moments before he launched the tweet attacking Pence. The tweet in question accused Pence of lacking “courage” after the former president said he refused to carry out Trump’s effort on Jan. 6 to interfere in the final certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Cassidy’s query to Trump’s counsel comes after the Louisiana lawmaker became just one of just six Republicans who broke with the GOP on Tuesday, ultimately siding with Democrats in a vote favoring the constitutionality of Trump’s impeachment.