Susan Collins Faults 2 Fellow Senators Over Impeachment

Maine Republican thinks Mitch McConnell, Elizabeth Warren are judging prematurely
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2019 11:51 AM CST
2nd GOP Senator Criticizes McConnell Over Trump
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Republican Sen. Susan Collins had some bipartisan criticism to offer Monday about the coming impeachment trial of President Trump. Most notably, she faulted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for saying he would coordinate the trial with the White House, reports NBC News. In doing so, Collins became the second Republican senator to criticize McConnell for his comments, after Alaska's Lisa Murkowski did so. But Collins added that Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who has called for Trump to be removed from office, is guilty of the same premature judgment. "It is inappropriate, in my judgment, for senators on either side of the aisle to prejudge the evidence before they have heard what is presented to us, because the each of us will take an oath, an oath that I take very seriously, to render impartial justice," Collins told Maine Public Radio.

Her comments came a day after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer renewed his call for the Senate to call top White House officials as witnesses, reports the Hill. McConnell has previously dismissed the idea, but Schumer said a report in the New York Times is a "game changer." The report shows that White House officials such as chief of staff Mick Mulvaney explored the idea of delaying aid to Ukraine after Trump first broached the idea. “I’m just trying to tie up some loose ends,” Mulvaney wrote in an email to top aide Robert Blair in June. “Did we ever find out about the money for Ukraine and whether we can hold it back?” In his reply, Blair warned his boss to "expect Congress to become unhinged" if the White House tried to do that. It was a "prescient" response, notes Axios. Collins, for her part, said she is "open to witnesses" depending on how the trial plays out. (More Trump impeachment stories.)

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