Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine announced Tuesday she will vote to acquit President Donald Trump in the Senate’s impeachment trial.
Known as a party “moderate” and considered a potential swing vote, Collins had broken with her party on Thursday to support the call for more witnesses in the trial, CNN reported.
She was joined by Utah Sen. Mitt Romney as the only Senate Republicans to support that measure.
On the question of conviction, however, Collins stuck with her GOP colleagues.
She announced her decision from the Senate floor.
“I do not believe that the House has met its burden of showing that the president’s conduct, however flawed, warrants the extreme step of immediate removal from office,” the senator said.
Susan Collins to acquit on both impeachment articles:
“Except when extraordinary circumstances require a different result, we should entrust to the people the most fundamental decision of a democracy, namely, who should lead their country.”pic.twitter.com/aKdaVOvGiI
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 4, 2020
Collins focused on problems with House Democrats’ conduct during their impeachment inquiry, saying the House “substituted its own political preference for speed over finality.”
“House managers described impeachment as a last resort for the Congress. In this case, however, the House chose to skip the basic steps of judicial adjudication and instead leapt straight to impeachment as the first resort,” she said.
“It is my judgment that except when extraordinary circumstances require a different result, we should entrust to the people the most fundamental decision of a democracy, namely, who should lead their country.”
With her announcement, Collins became the second moderate GOP senator in as many days to announce she would vote to acquit, joining Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
“The House failed in its responsibilities. And the Senate should be ashamed by the rank partisanship that has been on display,” Murkowski said from the Senate floor on Monday.
With Collins’ and Murkowski’s announcements, Romney appears to be the last moderate Republican yet to announce his vote.
Regardless of the Utah senator’s decision, however, Trump is all but guaranteed to be acquitted.
Conviction requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate, and Republicans control the upper chamber 53-47.
The final vote on conviction is scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.
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