Collins Asked Justice Roberts To Intervene After Nadler’s ‘Cover-Up’ Accusation
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) wrote a note to Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday morning, moments before he reprimanded the House impeachment managers and President Trump’s defense team for a heated exchange between Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, according to The Hill.
In an interview with the press, Collins later said that she wrote the note to ask the justice to ensure that the Senate rules were maintained. She believed the House Judiciary Committee chairman made unsettling comments and a rule would strike the words of a senator should they impute a colleague.
Nadler accused Republican senators of participating in a “cover-up” after voting against amendments that would have allowed them to bring witnesses to the trial.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a fellow moderate Republican, took offense to the comments.
“As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended,” Murkowski said.
Collins said she was “stunned” by Nadler’s accusation and revealed why she had sent the note to Roberts.
“Well, I was stunned by Congressman Nadler’s approach, and it reminded me that if we were in a normal debate in the Senate that the rule will be invoked to strike the words of the Senator, for imputing another Senator in this case, so I did write a note raising the issue of whether there had been a violation of the rules of the Senate, and I gave that note to Laura Dove, and well shortly thereafter the Chief Justice did admonish both sides and I was glad that he did,” Collins said, according to a transcript an aide provided to The Hill.
Collins and a handful of other moderates are being watched carefully as the impeachment proceedings continue. They are seen as potential swing votes for impeachment, or at least allies in bringing in witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton.