© 2021 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Donald Trump is the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. In 2021, he was impeached for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. In 2020, he was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to a phone call made to the president of Ukraine.

GOP Senator: Trump's Lawyers Did A 'Terrible Job' On 1st Day Of Trial

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on Tuesday voted to move forward with the Senate impeachment hearing.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on Tuesday voted to move forward with the Senate impeachment hearing.

Sen. Bill Cassidy on Tuesday said former President Trump's legal team did a "terrible job" defending Trump against the constitutionality of moving forward with a Senate hearing. The Louisiana Republican broke with most of his party in voting to proceed with Trump's historic second impeachment.

"President Trump's team were disorganized. They did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand. And when they talked about it, they kind of glided over almost as if they were embarrassed," Cassidy said, noting that the House impeachment managers had presented a clear, constitutionally-grounded argument to move forward with impeachment.

"One side's doing a great job. And the other side's doing a terrible job on the issue at hand."

Cassidy's vote surprised onlookers. He had previously voted that the impeachment trial was unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office.

Cassidy joined fellow Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Mitt Romney of Utah and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania who voted with Democrats on the matter.

The Senate on Tuesday heard arguments on the constitutionality of prosecuting Trump for his alleged role in fomenting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Opening arguments in the trial will begin Wednesday afternoon.

Cassidy's criticism of Trump's legal team echoed that of several additional Republicans who found the former president's representation — particularly that of attorney Bruce Castor — lacking in polish and reason.

"The President's lawyer, the first lawyer, just rambled on and on and on and didn't really address the constitutional argument," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said following the hearing.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he did not think Trump's representation "did the most effective job."

Both Republicans still voted against proceeding with the trial.

Despite the scathing criticisms of his performance, Castor, the attorney, said he thought it was a "good day" and said he did not anticipate he would make any strategic changes going forward.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.