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Donald Trump, impeached, unconvicted, settles scores, solidifies power

After Senate Republicans voted this month to keep Donald Trump in office, some of them expressed a belief —  or at least a hope — that the impeachment experience would leave the president chastened.

In the words of Sarah Palin, how’s that working out for ya?

In the two weeks since Trump was acquitted, the White House has targeted impeachment witnesses for retribution, presidential friends for special treatment and perceived enemies for punishment: 

Starting with Vindman, Sondland

►Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — who in his congressional testimony had assured his immigrant father that he’d be “fine for telling the truth” because in America “I can live free of fear” — was dismissed from the National Security Council. (Trump called him “insubordinate” and urged the Army to discipline him.) Vindman’s twin brother, Yevgeny, was also removed from the White House for good measure.

And Republican donor Gordon Sondland, who testified that “everyone was in the loop” on Trump’s quid pro quo with Ukraine, was fired as ambassador to the European Union.

OPPOSING VIEW:President Trump is within his rights

►Hours after a Trump tweet demanding leniency for friend Roger Stone, the Justice Department watered down sentencing recommendations. A jury had found Stone guilty of seven felonies, including obstructing Congress’ investigation into Russian election interference and threatening to kill a witness.  

Four front-line prosecutors were so appalled by the interference that they withdrew from the case in protest. One resigned from the Justice Department altogether. (More than 2,000 ex-DOJ officials have since called on Attorney General William Barr to step down.) 

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Brett Gonzalez
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