Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) raised eyebrows earlier this week when she announced on CBS News that she will vote to acquit President Donald Trump of the impeachment articles brought by the House, as she believed that he had “learned his lesson” after being impeached.
“I believe that the president has learned from this case,” she said at the time. “The president has been impeached. That’s a pretty big lesson.”
Since then, Collins has walked back on that claim, saying that her comments were more “aspirational” before acknowledging that she “may not be correct.
The House impeachment managers, tasked with bringing Democrats case against Trump before the Senate in the impeachment, are certain he hasn’t learned a thing.
“Of course he hasn’t learned a lesson,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) told CNN‘s Anderson Cooper.
“Absent any consequences to the extent that he perceives the acquittal as an exoneration, it’s a fake exoneration,” Jeffries added. “But to the extent that the President perceives it as vindication of his bad behavior, his constitutional crime, his wrongdoing, then there is reason to believe that he will endeavor to do it again.”
Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) blasted Trump as a “habitual offender” whose repeated actions show what he stands for.
“The best indicator of future performance is to look at past performance,” Demings said.
“He was in Florida during the campaign when he said, ‘Russia, if you’re listening,’ and obviously they were. And then the day after the special counsel testified on the Hill, the president’s on the phone inviting another foreign power to interfere in our election!” she added. “And then when he’s caught, he goes to the microphone and doubles down and invites China and then reminds Ukraine that, ‘Yeah, you should investigate the Bidens.’”
“We have no reason to believe that this President has learned anything,” Demings said. “If he had, perhaps he would have began the State of the Union address the other night by apologizing to the American people. That what he did was wrong and he’s regretful for it. We haven’t heard that.”