Shortly after announcing she would vote to acquit President Trump on Wednesday, GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine defended her decision and said Trump has “learned” from impeachment and called it “a pretty big lesson.”
“I believe that the president has learned from this case,” Collins told Norah O’Donnell of CBS News. “The president has been impeached. That’s a pretty big lesson.”
“He was impeached. And there has been criticism by both Republican and Democratic senators of his call,” she continued, before predicting: “I believe that he will be much more cautious in the future.”
CBS NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) tells @NorahODonnell she will vote to acquit Pres. Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, adding that she believes "the president has learned from this case."
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 4, 2020
Collins added in the interview that Trump’s July conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was grounds for reprimand, as she believed Trump should not have mentioned his desire for a criminal investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, but added that she did not believe the action came close to being considered impeachable conduct.
“The president’s call was wrong. He should not have mentioned Joe Biden in it, despite his overall concern about corruption in Ukraine,” Collins told CBS. “The president of the United States should not be asking a foreign country to investigate a political rival. That is just improper. It was far from a perfect call.”
“I’m sure there are going to be people unhappy with me in Maine. All I can do is apply the constitutional standard. And that’s my job,” she said. “My job is not to weigh the political consequences, but to do impartial justice to live up to the oath that I took.”