Politics - News Analysis

Susan Collins Squirms While Cornered: Said that Trump Had ‘Learned a Lesson’ During First Impeachment

Trump was impeached and tried in January of 2020. There was no evidence, no testimony, no facts put in evidence. McConnell, the jury foreman, bragged that there was no difference between what Trump wanted and what the Republican Senate would do with regard to the procedure and pre-ordained conclusion. Mitt Romney was the lone dissent. Trump learned he was untouchable.

Susan Collins walks around the Capitol holding herself out as a moderate who is not a Trumpist. She then voted along with the Republicans on everything “Trump” until the second impeachment, when Trump was already out the door. She is no more moderate than Mitch McConnell.

Jake Tapper forced Collins to address her “learned a lesson” comment, one that seemed patently absurd at the time, with the obvious consequences down the line. He was actually rather gentle in forcing her to confront her words and the consequences:

“After President Trump was impeached for the first time for urging Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, I know you hoped that the president learned his lesson — and you said that was aspirational. But after Biden won, the president tried to overturn the election results that culminated in the Capitol attack. Did you think he learned a lesson, but the lesson he learned is that he can get away with anything?

Of course, Trump learned he could get away with anything. He directed his own trial. It was obvious at the time and we all saw it. We both laughed and cowered. Collins hedged, as is her nature, and didn’t admit a thing:

“First of all, that was an interview that was grossly misedited. It chopped out the rest of what I said, which was in dealing with foreign governments.”

Patently absurd. Whatever lesson about whatever context obviously expanded into whatever Trump wanted. This is peak Collins.

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I hope that the president has learned the lesson.

This present tense stuff makes no sense and is downright weird unless she was trying to say that was her hope at the time and simply mispoke. It’s possible she simply misspoke, we all make mistakes. We are not grilling her on that answer.

But to get to your point, I’ve been involved in three impeachment trials. I voted to acquit President Clinton and President Trump the first time, to convict him the second time. In each case, what I have done is listened to the facts, applied the evidence, and follow the constitutional standard for convicting a president. My approach has not changed. I used exactly the same criteria, the criteria that the constitution requires. In the first two cases, I did not feel that the conduct was proven to meet the highest bar for removing a president from office in the third case I felt it did.

Correct. The exact same criteria is whatever helped her politically in Maine, which is not a blood-red state and she must consider that fact. The public was already outraged that Newt orchestrated Clinton’s impeachment over a ridiculous premise. In her second vote, Trump was still in power, it was critical that Trump remained the boss, or Collins might suffer the consequences in her upcoming election. When Trump was out of power, and Collins was re-elected, there would be no consequences in a purple state. She voted guilty. Each vote was expedient.

Susan Collins remains a dependable Mitch McConnell vote while walking around holding herself out as some higher-plained moderate. Watch:

Peace, y’all
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak

meet the author

Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.


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