Those who wanted to remove Clinton from office, but not Trump

Imagine arguing that Clinton needed to be removed from office in 1999, while also believing Trump's illegal extortion scheme was fine.
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Former U.S. president Bill ClintonJustin Sullivan / Getty Images

Twenty one years separate the only modern presidential impeachment trials, which means plenty of the lawmakers who participated in Bill Clinton's ordeal are still on Capitol Hill. It also means some of the Republicans who tried to bring the Democrat's presidency to an immediate and premature end are the same GOP lawmakers who just participated in the proceedings against Donald Trump.

Broadly speaking, there are four categories of Republicans who considered the allegations against both presidents.

Republican senators who voted to convict Clinton, but acquit Trump: Wyoming's Mike Enzi, Iowa's Chuck Grassley, Oklahoma's James Inhofe, Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, Kansas' Pat Roberts, Mississippi's Roger Wicker

Republican senators who split their votes on Clinton, but who voted to acquit Trump: Alabama's Richard Shelby

Republican senators who voted to acquit both Clinton and Trump: Maine's Susan Collins

Republican senators who supported Clinton's impeachment while in the House, and who voted to acquit Trump: Missouri's Roy Blunt, North Carolina's Richard Burr, Idaho's Mike Crapo, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, Kansas' Jerry Moran, Ohio's Rob Portman, and South Dakota's John Thune

Naturally, it's that first group that's of the most interest. Indeed, imagine trying to argue that Bill Clinton's sex scandal was serious enough to warrant his removal from office, while also believing Donald Trump's illegal extortion scheme to cheat in an election is acceptable behavior.

CBS News had a good report a couple of weeks ago with some striking quotes from 1999. Grassley, for example, who voted to acquit Trump yesterday, said during Clinton's trial that the Democrat's actions were "having a profound impact on our society." He added at the time that Clinton's "breach of trust has eroded the public's faith in the office of the presidency."

McConnell, meanwhile, said Clinton's "cold, calculated actions betrayed the trust vested in him by the American people and the high office of the presidency."

In the face of overwhelming evidence, the Kentucky Republican had no comparable concerns this year.

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