All Eyes on Senator Susan Collins Who Says She’s Working With Small Group of Republicans to Ensure Witnesses at Trump’s Trial

by on January 15, 2020 · 7 comments

in American Empire, Civil Rights

GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. Photo from her facebook.

All eyes are now trained on Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine who told a local hometown newspaper on Friday that she was working with a small group of Republican Senators to ensure there are witnesses during Trump’s trial in the Senate.

The House just voted today to send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate and Speaker Nancy Pelosi just named the seven House members who will be “managers” during the Senate trial. The trial is expected to begin next Tuesday, January 21.

According to the Bangor Daily News:

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told reporters on Friday that she is working with a “fairly small group” of fellow Republican senators toward a goal of ensuring witnesses can be called in the chamber’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

This is a stunning announcement by a “centrist” Republican senator who has a stiff re-election campaign ahead of her. Here is the full report from BDN:

Speaking to reporters on Friday at the end of a visit to the Fruit Street School in Bangor, Collins said she had been working all week with a “fairly small group” of Republican senators and party leaders to ensure trial rules would allow House impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers to call witnesses.

Collins declined to say how large the group was, but she said “we should be completely open to calling witnesses.”

“I am hopeful that we can reach an agreement on how to proceed with the trial that will allow the opportunity for both the House and the president’s counsel if they choose to do so,” she said.

As the Bangor paper noted, this a high-stakes gamble for Collins. Obviously, she wants to be re-elected and has been targeted by the national Democrats for supporting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, in his Senate trial approach. Yet, during the Clinton impeachment trial, she voted to acquit him in 1999.

Earlier Collins stated she was open to having witnesses.

Some see this as evidence that “the dam has broken”, meaning now that Collins has publicly announced she is the lead GOP senator attempting to undermine McConnell and Trump’s wishes for a speedy dismissal, other Republican senators now have cover to also join in the effort to have a somewhat fair trial.

A Daily Kos commenter said this:

The Trump dam of invincibility has broken, and Susan Collins is the stone that came spurting out of the wall of the dam. Susan Collins voluntarily outed herself in an interview in her hometown newspaper as being the Senator who was discreetly trying to hammer out a GOP Senator only agreement to allow witnesses to be called at the Trump impeachment trial. She did that knowing that it would be national news within 24 hours. And then, within days, the news breaks that Schumer has the votes from the GOP to force witnesses to be subpoenaed to testify at the Trump impeachment trial.

As of right this minute, all bets are off. Because Susan Collins made a purely political decision. She looked at the polling, she looked at the landscape, and she made the measured decision that she could no longer side with Trump and expect to be reelected. And rather than try to fly under the radar, she publicly announced her opposition to Trump in order to display her independence to her constituents.

This is critical because it gives every other vulnerable GOP incumbent in 2020 air cover to break with Trump as well. Incumbents like Tillis in North Carolina, Gardner in Colorado, and McSally in Arizona are all going to have to look seriously at internal and external polling, as well as impeachment polling, and decide just how tightly they want to tie themselves to Trump.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar retired botanist January 15, 2020 at 1:41 pm

I’ll never forgive Collins for endorsing Kavanaugh for SCOTUS. She’s a loser and she’s just looking for redemption so she can try and get re-elected. Off with her head! :/

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie January 16, 2020 at 10:46 am

One doesn’t have to like Collins to understand the role she could be playing right now.

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Avatar retired botanist January 16, 2020 at 11:54 am

Yep. Its a role. Imo, that’s all it is. Its incredible to think, especially given Maddow’s interview of Parnas last night, that the Senate could even consider NOT having witnesses, but I believe the Senate will continue to obstruct and will not allow witnesses, or further documents, to be part of this trial.
Our country is being run by a muckle of low-lifes…both elected and non-elected…who knew we had Parnas representing the USA?! Even more disturbing to consider what else we don’t know…

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Avatar Frances O'Neill Zimmerman January 15, 2020 at 4:16 pm

Ditto! I am happy to get this important news from our own OB Rag. Let’s just say Senator Susan Collins owes the Republic this much due process after her past waffling in the face of imagined Trump backlash. Her refusing to speak out against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee (now Justice) Brett Kavanaugh only harvested a lot of disillusioned voters.
Plus, this week we’re not even at undeclared war with the entire Middle East. We must be on a roll.

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Avatar thequeenisalizard January 16, 2020 at 10:38 am

I’ll believe it when I see it. Even if it actually happens, I wonder what she’s getting out of it?

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie January 16, 2020 at 10:47 am

Re-election?

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Avatar kh January 16, 2020 at 4:53 pm

Transparency is good. Bring it on.

Can’t wait to hear more grade school arguments of “well those other presidents did bad shit too…”

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