What They’re Saying: “Purely Political” Senator Collins Now Taking “McConnell Line” on Impeachment Trial Without Witnesses

Backing Flawed Approach, Senator Collins Cites Campaign Ads As The Reason For Blocking Witnesses Because She “Apparently Thinks Her Actions Should Have No Political Consequences”

In 1999, Senator Collins called for specific witnesses to testify before the impeachment trial began… but now, Collins is supporting Mitch McConnell’s decision to move forward on impeachment without hearing from witnesses. Despite her “weasel words,” Collins’s “purely political” motivations were clear when she cited campaign ads as the reason for her decision to refuse to support a fair process for the impeachment trial.

Here’s what they’re saying about Senator Collins’ flawed approach to impeachment this week:

Washington Post Editorial Board: Senate Republicans close their eyes to presidential abuse

“Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), while professing to be ‘open to witnesses,’ said it is ‘premature to decide who should be called until we see the evidence that is presented.’ The flaw in that premise is that the White House is blocking disclosure of critical evidence.”

TPM: Collins Takes McConnell Line On Impeachment Trial

“Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) would not say on Monday whether she supported sending a subpoena to former National Security Advisor John Bolton in the upcoming impeachment trial of President Trump.”

The Hill: The 5 most vulnerable senators in 2020

“… with an impeachment trial for Trump looming in the Senate, Collins has a new political minefield to navigate. She came out on Monday in support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) efforts to block Senate Democrats’ demands for additional witnesses in the eventual trial.”

Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post):

“Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) huffs that Democrats are making her refusal to insist upon witnesses and documents a campaign issue. (“I don’t think [Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is] really very interested in doing anything but trying to defeat me by telling lies to the people of Maine,” she told Politico. “And you can quote me on that.”) She apparently thinks her actions should have no political consequences. Unfortunately for her, elections in November are precisely the place for voters to register their disapproval of her and her migration from independent moderate to party loyalist.”

Bangor Daily News Political Columnist Amy Fried:

CNN’s Phil Mattingly:

MSNBC’s Deadline: White House:

POLITICO’s Jake Sherman: “In the Senate, it’s actually remarkably easy if you have two or three people to effect the outcome of anything. So, if Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and one other person do indeed want witnesses, they can get witnesses, let’s be clear about this. Being uncomfortable with a person and demanding something are two very different things. Being uncomfortable is trivia. Okay, that’s good to know. Now will you go into Mitch McConnell’s office… Will they do that again here? Because they have the power to do that.”

MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber:

MSNBC’s Ari Melber: “Now… it’s also worth noting that when Senator Collins was evaluating a trial for a Democratic president after a probe which factually had many, many more witnesses than the Ukraine investigation at this point, she said she knew enough then that it was key to have, yes, witnesses at the trial to have facts.”

MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber:

Mother Jones’ David Corn: “Well, I’m laughing a little bit, because watching Susan Collins there, those are — if you looked up in a dictionary the phrase ‘weasel words,’ you could put that as an example. What she is saying is, ‘Yeah, I kind of want to hear from Bolton, but maybe, not sure. I can decide once the trial begins.’ And that’s the whole thing here.”

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