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Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.) announced Tuesday that she will vote to acquit President Trump in his impeachment trial, despite believing that the president's actions toward Ukraine “demonstrated very poor judgment.”

Why it matters: The moderate senator was thought to be among the likeliest of the Republicans to vote to convict Trump. Her decision to acquit Trump means Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is Democrats' last chance for a bipartisan conviction vote.

What she's saying: "It was wrong for President Trump to mention former Vice President Biden on that phone call and wrong for him to ask a foreign country to investigate his political rival," Collins said. But she added that "impeachment of a president should be reserved for conduct that poses such a serious threat" to government institutions.

  • "I do not believe the House has met its burden of showing the president's conduct warrants the extreme step of removing him from office," Collins said.

Collins said in an interview with The CBS Evening News that she believes Trump has "learned his lesson" about seeking foreign election interference, despite the president's continued insistence that he did nothing wrong.

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20 Republican former U.S. attorneys endorse Biden, call Trump "a threat to the rule of law"

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Twenty Republican former U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday endorsed Joe Biden while saying that "President Trump's leadership is a threat to rule of law" in the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: In the letter, the former prosecutors criticize Trump's use of the Department of Justice, saying the president expects the DOJ to "to serve his personal and political interests."

  • "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making," the letter says.
Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.