Will somebody go check the weather forecast in Hell and see if glaciers are forming? Thank you. For a brief moment I got excited when I read that Susan Collins had told a Maine public radio station that she is “open to witnesses” and believes that the model that was followed for the Clinton impeachment trial was the one to use. But then I reminded myself, yet again, that every single time I think Susan Collins is going to do the right thing, I become Charlie Brown to her Lucy and the freaking football gets yanked one more time. But hope springs eternal and maybe, perhaps, Collins is so worried about her senate seat that she’s going to go with the prevailing winds of public sentiment and away from Mitch McConnell. Dare we hope? Raw Story:

“I am open to witnesses. I think it’s premature to decide who should be called until we see the evidence that is presented and get the answers to the questions that we senators can submit through the Chief Justice to both sides,” Collins told Maine Public Radio when asked about calling acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney or former national security adviser John Bolton. Neither Mulvaney nor Bolton testified during the House impeachment inquiry.

Collins said she thought Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., should follow the model of the five-week impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton in 1999. Collins, one of the 15 senators currently serving who voted in the Clinton impeachment trial in 1999, said the Clinton process was “fair” and “thorough.” […]

“We then had a vote on whether or not we needed further information, and we decided to depose three witnesses. So they did not testify in person, but they were deposed by both sides,” Collins told WCSH of the Clinton process. “and that was a valuable way to proceed in that trial.”

Collins added that it was “hard to envision” that McConnell and Schumer would be able to negotiate a deal at the outset of the trial that would pass unanimously. The Senate left town earlier this month until January with the two leaders at an “impasse” over trial rules.

The GOP has a caucus of 53 senators. They can set trial rules with only 51, and that is without Democratic input. However, if even a few of them break rank, the game could change dramatically. Right now Lisa Murkowski is the only one who has spoken up in favor of witnesses and perhaps Collins is signalling she’s ready to do the right thing. With her, you never know, because she talks the talk but then she votes the party line. So, it’s anybody’s guess. What Mitt Romney might do is, of course, known only to him and Cory Gardner is very likely to go down in flames if he votes with McConnell to stonewall justice in the Senate.

My two cents? I don’t think we should count on Romney. He might come through, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. I think Gardner is going to find himself with his back up against the wall and I think he will cave, in order to hang onto his seat. Murkowski can be relied upon. So that brings it down to Susan Collins and your guess is as good as mine whether we’re going to play Charlie Brown once again. Based on past performance, I would have to say yes. But there is a slim possibility, with the unpopularity of her Kavanaugh vote still dogging her, that she might want to pull out of the nose dive and save herself. Let us hope. Politics, like football, is a game won by inches.

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17 Comments on "Susan Collins says ‘I’m Open To Witnesses’ Is She Breaking From McConnell?"

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Bareshark
Guest

Under normal circumstances, this would be a no-brainer. Collins, as you point out, Ursula, is far better at talking than doing. However, she now also has a bunch of pissed off Mainers who have made it their business to vote her out next year. She goes along with McConnell, she’s guaranteeing that her opponents have additional fuel for their campaign.

Liz
Guest

If there is a time, does Pence vote?

TwinsDad
Guest

I don’t think Pence can vote. If tRump is removed, Pence becomes *Resident; so there is a conflict of interest for him. Not that that would ever bother any republikkkan.

Liz
Guest

So if there were a tie, flip a coin. Or just imagine the Senate having to negotiate a compromise. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Thanks, TwinsDad. Happy New Year!

Joseph
Guest
I’m not sure what you specifically want to know but, if you’re asking about an impeachment vote, no, he has no vote. Since the ONLY penalty in an impeachment trial is removal, and that requires a 2/3 “guilty” vote, it removes any reason or need for Pence to vote. As VP, he is officially the “President of the Senate” but the ONLY time he (or any other VP) can cast a vote is in the case of a tie (my understanding is this happens only on a 50-50 vote OR any other tie where the non-voting Senators are actually unable… Read more »
Liz
Guest

Thank you for this detailed response. I was thinking about the vote on the rules when I asked the question. I don’t hold out much hope that tRump will be removed, but I’m doing my best to remain optimistic about the vote on rules and that there will be testimony from the likes of Bolton and Mulvaney. Thanks again, Joseph. Happy New Year!

Joseph
Guest
I think Romney might break with McConnell if only to give the proverbial finger to Trump over the Secretary of State post. (I don’t really know how badly Romney actually wanted the position but for him to essentially debase himself to go to Trump with a “wish list” and then get turned down has GOT to stick in Romney’s craw, at least a bit. And anyone who remembers how happy Romney was when walking away from his press conference regarding the Benghazi attacks the night before–and then trying to attack Obama over it a month later–would have to realize that… Read more »
mae
Member

I have learned my lesson. I will wait and see what she actually does.

p j evans
Member

Betting is that she folds, as usual.

mae
Member

I hope it goes like Ursula says, that she is in enough trouble to actually do something right, for once.

Bareshark
Guest

She folds, P J, she’s done. But Collins wants to thread the needle so it doesn’t look like she’s not folding…yeah, good luck with that.