COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It’s being called the “politics of revenge” as President Donald Trump lashes out at his perceived enemies.
With the impeachment over and prominent Republicans like Ohio Sen. Rob Portman claiming the President learned a lesson, there is new evidence on Capitol Hill that each side is bracing for more divisive rhetoric, and no one can agree on what lesson the President learned.
“It’s pretty clear the President of the United States did learn a lesson, the less he can do whatever he wants, whatever he wants,” Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said. “He can abuse his office, he will never, ever be held accountable by this Senate.”
Prominent Republican Senators like Portman and Susan Collins, said they believe that although the President should not be impeached, asking Ukraine to investigate a potential political rival was wrong. And they believe he would be chastened. Portman spoke to NBC 4 last week.
“All the information is out there and I think he is listening, I really do,” Portman said. “And I do think it will have an impact.”
But Brown told a banking committee this week the President learned he can now seek revenge, firing witnesses who appeared against him. Then influencing the sentencing recommendation for his long-time friend Roger Stone, convicted of seven federal crimes. The President’s interference caused four prosecutors to resign from the case.
“I’m afraid that’s what’s happening, a personal vengeance operation,” Brown said. “If we say nothing, and I include everyone on this committee, I include myself, if we say nothing, it will get worse. His behavior will get worse, the retribution tour will continue. We all know that.”
Brown said many Republican Senators privately condemned the President’s actions.
“They also privately admit the President often doesn’t tell the truth, and I said, ‘What are we going to do if you acquit him? How do we keep the president, how do we keep him from doing this even more so,’ and they just kind of shrug their shoulders.”
And in the Oval Office this week, when asked what lessons he learned from impeachment, Trump responded, “That the Democrats are crooked, they’ve got a lot of crooked things going. That they are vicious, that they shouldn’t have brought impeachment.”