Spokeswoman Annie Clark also stressed that Collins has repeatedly said that “retribution is a bad idea” with regard to those who testified against the president during the hearings.
Agree or disagree with her vote – it had nothing to do with hoping the President would learn a lesson.
In fact, she has said repeatedly that she thinks retribution is a bad idea.
— Annie Clark (@annieclark25) February 12, 2020
Collins, a U.S. senator since 1996, voted to acquit Trump of both impeachment charges last Wednesday, which resulted in a 47 to 53 acquittal. She was also one of two GOP senators to vote in favor of allowing new witnesses and documents in the Senate trial.
In announcing her intention to vote to acquit Trump, Collins justified her position by stating that the president had learned a “pretty big lesson” from impeachment and that he would be “much more cautious in the future.”
She furthered alleged that the Founding Fathers warned against “excessive partisanship” and that the U.S. system of checks and balances exists to prevent “factions” from jeopardizing the rights of the public.
“The Framers recognized that in removing a sitting President, we would be acting against not only the officeholder, but also the voters who entrusted him with that position,” Collins said in her statement.
Collins went on record with Fox News following the Senate’s vote, saying, “I hoped that the president would’ve learned from the fact that he was impeached by the House,” adding that parts of Trump’s July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were “wrong,” according to previous reporting.
The call was at the center of the House’s inquiry into Trump’s alleged efforts to get Ukraine to open investigations into his political rivals.
“The president [asked a] federal government to investigate a political rival. And he should not have done that. And I would hope that he would not do it again,” Collins said.
Collins cited her vote to acquit former President Clinton in 1999 despite House managers proving that he committed a crime but said his conduct did not meet the threshold of impeachment.
Justin Wise contributed.
Updated: 6:24 p.m.