(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Thursday that President Donald Trump learned a lesson from the Democrats’ attempt to impeach and remove him from office – that he can get away with corruption.
During a CNN presidential town hall, Sanders was asked, “President Trump today called his impeachment today evil, corrupt, said it was ‘dirty cops, leakers and liars.’ He said the investigation was all BS, though he used the actual word in the East Room of the White House. Some Republicans - Joni Ernst, Lamar Alexander - said they think he learned a lesson from impeachment. Based on today, what do you think the lesson is?”
“I think he did learn a lesson. He learned a lesson that he can get away with corruption. He can get away with continuing to lie. He can get away with being a president who considers himself above the law, and, Anderson, if you ask me about the acquittal yesterday, the worst part of it is it sets a precedent for future presidents in this country. That will not be me. I will operate that way,” Sanders said.
“But for future presidents who say, you know what? I can tell a governor with distributing infrastructure money, road construction money, you know what? If you don't support me in your reelection, guess what? You're not going get your fair share. And I can tell a country, China, hey, I want you to do an investigation on my political opponent. That's okay. That's legal. That's kosher.
“That is not what the Constitution of this country is about. That's not what America is about, and his contempt for Congress, Congress is an equal branch of government. Everybody in the third grade knows that we have equal branches of government. We have a judiciary. We have a president, executive branch. We have a Congress.
“The United States Congress has the right of oversight, and when the president does something they think wrong, they have the right and the obligation to investigate that. And Trump says no, I'm not going cooperate, and the precedent set last night is that, hey, presidents don't have to cooperate with congress. We'll do whatever we want. You don't like it, Congress, tough luck. We are not cooperating. So that is a very dangerous precedent for the future of this country, and it bothers me very much.
Sanders was asked if there’s anything to stop Trump from calling up Ukrainian President Zelensky again right now and say let's launch that investigation.
“Apparently not. With the exception of one Republican, my Republican colleagues thought that was just fine, and by the way, I give Mitt Romney a lot of credit, but it also disturbs me, and I can tell you, I am a senator, I know these guys. There are Republicans who know exactly what is going on, and they simply are intimidated and afraid of this president. That's just the simple and sad reality of the Republican party right now,” Sanders said.