Republican Senators acquitted Trump, and then when Trump started his revenge purge, they tried to convince him not to fire Sondland.
A handful of Republican senators tried to stop President Trump from firing Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union who testified in the House impeachment hearings, but the president relieved the diplomat of his post anyway, according to people briefed on the discussions.
Among the Republicans who warned the White House was Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who after voting to acquit Mr. Trump said she thought he had learned a lesson. Others included Senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Martha McSally of Arizona and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. The White House did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday but a senior administration official confirmed the senators’ outreach on behalf of Mr. Sondland, a donor to Mr. Tillis and other Republicans.
Voting to acquit Trump has been an unmitigated disaster for Sen. Collins. The vote immediately blew up in her face after she claimed that he had learned a giant lesson from impeachment, and then went on a Friday Night massacre where he fired everyone in his administration who testified on impeachment.
It is not a coincidence that three of the Republican Senators who tried to convince Trump not to fire Sondland (Collins, Tillis, and McSally) are all facing difficult reelection contests in November.
The Senators who rushed to acquit Trump are already paying the price for their sham trial, and are poised to see their acquittal of Trump cost them their seats.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association