CNN’s John Avlon says Senator Susan Collins (D-Maine) must admit that former President Donald Trump never “learned his lesson,” citing remarks she made in justifying her vote not to impeach him on charges that he threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine if the country didn’t announce an investigation into Trump’s political opponent Joe Biden and push conspiracy theories that it was Ukraine and not Russia that interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
“I believe that the President has learned from this case. The President has been impeached. That’s a pretty big lesson. I believe that he will be much more cautious in the future,” Collins said at the time.
The statement caused Collins’ popularity to take a nosedive, adding to her political woes since she voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite widely publicized hearings in relation to allegations that he sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a former classmate.
Avlon, referencing a report that found that phone logs turned over to the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the events of January 6 show a 7-hour gap in Trump’s calls, called it “pathetic, desperate, and predictable.”
“Let’s put this in perspective here,” Avlon said. “All the senators who said Trump learned his lesson about asking Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, like Susan Collins, those folks really need to just admit they were blatantly wrong. Second of all, pull back for a second, think of a parallel to the extent of this, imagine it is 1940, and a U.S. politician running for president asks a foreign power, Axis Powers to dig up dirt on a sitting U.S. president. Imagine it happened during the Cold War — people making appeals to communist leaders to dig up dirt on a sitting U.S. president. That’s what we’re looking at here.”
He added: “Let’s not get numb to the surreal desperate, despicable actions by an ex-president who believes ethics are weakness and instinct is always to go ugly in a way that is indefensible in the eyes of history.”
Trump’s missing phone logs further complicate matters for the January 6 committee.
“The lack of an official White House notation of any calls placed to or by Trump for 457 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021 — from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. — means the committee has no record of his phone conversations as his supporters descended on the Capitol, battled overwhelmed police and forcibly entered the building, prompting lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to flee for safety,” The Washington Post reported.
The Post pointed out that “The seven-hour gap also stands in stark contrast to the extensive public reporting about phone conversations he had with allies during the attack,” including Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.