It is highly likely that the Senate will vote to acquit Mr. Trump on Wednesday despite the strong push by Democrats for justice in regard to the president’s actions with the Ukraine. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke about the reason for her vote to acquit.
According to CBS News:
‘Republican Senator Susan Collins said she believes President Trump has learned a “pretty big lesson” by being impeached and plans to vote to acquit him. In an interview with “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell on Tuesday, Collins acknowledged that there may be voters in her home state of Maine who will be “unhappy” with her decision.’
When asked, Senator Collins did say that she thought it would be helpful for Mr. Trump to apologize. She said:
‘I think that would be helpful. President Clinton did that in 1999. It took him a while. But finally, he did apologize for his actions.’
‘All I can do is apply the constitutional standard. And that’s my job. My job is not to weigh the political consequences, but to do impartial justice to live up to the oath that I took.’
On Wednesday, the Senate will officially vote on whether to convict Trump on two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Collins was only one of two Republicans who voted to allow witnesses in the impeachment trial.
Collins did not feel that Trump’s behavior “reaches the high bar in the Constitution for overturning an election.” CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell asked:
‘Was this a difficult decision for you?’
‘It is always difficult when you’re looking at the facts of a case, and you don’t approve of the conduct of the individual. The framers did not intend for impeachment to be used as a political weapon, or to be used frequently. It was to be rare. So when I applied the standard in the Constitution, it became evident to me that despite the president’s poor judgment, he did not reach the standard for removal.’
O’Donnell reminded Collins that Article 1 says that Trump:
‘will remain a threat to national security and the constitution if allowed to remain in office.’
‘Are you confident that that president won’t seek foreign assistance again?’
Collins simply answered:
‘I believe that the president has learned from this case.’
‘But the president says he did nothing wrong. Why do you think he learned something?’
‘He was impeached. And there has been criticism by both Republican and Democratic senators of his call. I believe that he will be much more cautious in the future.’
When asked whether she thought Trump should address the impeachment in his State of the Union address, she said:
‘He does not, and he should not.’
Of course, an apology from Trump for wrongdoing would be an admittance that he indeed committed a crime with regards to the Ukraine. Collins’ assertion that Trump has learned his lesson is preposterous, and if the president “did not reach the standard for removal,” it is frightening to see where Collins might set that bar.