Collins: I’m Working With Group Of GOP Senators To Allow Impeachment Witnesses
Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on Friday that she and a “fairly small” group of Republican senators are working to ensure that witnesses can be called during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, according to The Hill.
Speaking with Bangor Daily News, Collins said she is “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.”
Collins would not reveal how many senators are in the small group, but she said all of her colleagues should be "completely open to calling witnesses.”
When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated he would adopt the rules set out during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, Collins voiced support for the move. Those rules do not include a deal for calling specific witnesses, but they leave the door open for a vote on calling witnesses later in the trial.
Collins has said she is “open” to calling witnesses but has “repeatedly argued that a decision on who, if anyone, should testify should wait until mid-trial,” The Hill noted.
The Maine senator is one of a few swing votes in the impeachment proceedings that Democrats would need to “compel the administration to hand over Ukraine-related documents and to call witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that she plans to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate next week, after holding onto them since the president was impeached on December 18.