WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Maine's Independent Senator Angus King ultimately voted to convict Pres. Trump Wednesday, claiming the President 'placed his own political interests above the national interest.'
In an interview with NEWS CENTER Maine, King was open about the severity of his decision as well as his frustration over the trial process.
"It's neither been fair nor a trial,” he said.
However, King said despite not hearing from additional witnesses and evidence, there was enough information for him to find the president guilty.
The junior senator was very candid about his concerns that a vote to remove Trump from office would be an unpopular one among some of his supporters, and one that could fuel division.
"It would inflame the divisions in the country and I can’t ignore that, but I also can’t ignore what he did," King said.
Ultimately, King claimed his decision was based on the 'seriousness' of the President's actions and his 'lack of remorse.'
"He undermined our own national security. And if he was simply pursuing our national interest rather than his own, why was his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani put in charge? Why was Rudy Giuliani mentioned in that phone call?" he said. "No matter the defense, and as a majority of the members of this body apparently now recognize, President Trump placed his own political interests above the national interest he has sworn to protect."
Trump was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for allegedly withholding millions of dollars in federal aid to Ukraine in exchange for its leaders to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
"I have always been a conservative on impeachment," King said in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday. "Impeachment is not a punishment, it's a prevention."
King said he was fearful acquitting Trump would set a dangerous precedent for future presidents. King added that he also feared acquitting Trump would embolden the president to do the same thing again.
"He has shown no sign that he will stop," King said.
Many critics have accused King of siding with Democrats from the start of the trial. King, who caucuses with democrats, acknowledged that he said he believes he 'did what was right.'
"I think there's enough evidence," he said. "Would it be a clearer case if we heard from Bolton and Mulvaney? Absolutely. But I don't think they were fatal to whether or not we could make a fair decision."
Pres. Trump is expected to give a 'victory' speech from the White House Wednesday afternoon.