Some of the congressional Republicans — House members and senators alike — who voted to acquit Donald John Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress talked about him learning the lessons of the impeachment and trial.
Hmm. Has the president learned anything? Is he feeling chastened by the acquittal in the Senate?
Umm. No. He isn’t. He has learned a single constructive thing.
Instead, he is feeling emboldened. Trump is proceeding as if the acquittal actually means something other than Republicans (more or less) standing behind him. Except for GOP U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah voting his conscience on the abuse of power impeachment allegation, the rest of the Republican caucus refused to budge.
Trump, though, sees it this way: an acquittal is an acquittal. It doesn’t matter how it came to pass.
He issued those 11 pardons and commutations. He fired Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because the DNI briefed members of Congress on reports that Russia is attacking our election system this year just as it did in 2016. The president is purging his administration of those who would seek to provide critical analyses, replacing them with yes men and women, with blind loyalists.
What’s more, the president is dismissing reports about Russia’s renewed attack on our election. He is disparaging, just as he has done so many times already, the hard work of our expert and patriotic intelligence analysts who speak with a single voice on one critical point: Russia is attacking us!
Donald Trump is unleashed. He should frighten all of us.