Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) lit into his Republican colleagues for refusing to stand up to the lawless actions of President Donald Trump during a Senate hearing Wednesday morning.

Noting the the White House had abruptly pulled the nomination of Jessie Liu, who had been chosen for a senior position at the Treasury Department, Brown said he suspected the real reason the administration withdrew Liu from consideration is because she might be asked about the controversy over the lighter sentence being sought by the Department of Justice for longtime Trump friend Roger Stone:

“She was going to appear in front of the Senate when President Trump withdrew her nomination. I heard some of you, my colleagues, my friends say that the president would be chastened by impeachment. Some of you told me you knew what the president did was wrong, some of you privately told me how much you think he lies. But you also said that wasn’t enough to rise to level of removal from office.”

But Brown was far from done rubbing the GOP senator’s noses in their own willingness to give Trump a pass no matter what he does:

“Many of you asserted he had learned his lesson, he would not do these things again. He wouldn’t try through illegal means, try to change the 2020 election.

“It’s pretty clear the president of the United States did learn a lesson. The lesson he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He can abuse his office and will never, ever be held accountable by this Senate. That was the lesson.”

The Ohio senator ended his remarks by referencing the president’s hateful remarks at last week’s National Prayer Breakfast, which Brown said was the beginning of a “retribution tour” by Trump:

“Many of you were in the audience and applauded him as he personally attacked people who have served this country. We cannot give him a permanent license to turn the presidency and the executive branch into his own personal vengeance operation. You know it’s happening.”

Senator Brown is absolutely correct. Thanks to his Republican co-conspirators, Trump now feels emboldened to do whatever he pleases, no matter how much it chips away at the very foundations of equal justice under the law this nation is founded upon. We are now in the first phases of a dictatorship.

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