Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) declared on Tuesday, Feb. 4, that she will vote to acquit on House Democrats’ articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in the Senate trial.
Collins made the declaration after Sen. Lisa Murkowski had also pledged to vote against convicting President Trump, Breitbart News reported. Because both Republicans are potential swing-vote senators, their revelations would cement the president’s looming exoneration after the Senate’s final vote scheduled for Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.
“It is my judgement 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,” Collins spoke on the Senate floor.
The Democrat-led House voted on Dec. 18 to impeach President Trump without support of any Republican, charging the president with two articles of impeachment—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Collins explained her decision to acquit the president of the two articles separately in detail.
Regarding “abuse of power,” Collins said the House did little to support its assertion in the article one that the president “will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”
“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. Nor does the record support the assertion by the House [Democrat] managers that the president must not remain in office one moment longer, particularly given that the House delayed transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for 33 days,” Collins said.
“I will vote to acquit on article one,” she declared.
Regarding “obstruction of Congress,” Collins said this article seeks to have the Senate convict the president based on a dispute over witnesses and documents between the legislative and executive branches.
“As a general principle, an objection or privilege asserted by one party cannot be deemed invalid—let alone impeachable—simply because the opposing party disagrees with it,” she said.
“The House substituted its own political preference for speed over finality. The House [Democrat] 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 a first resort.”
“Therefore, I will vote to acquit on article two,” the senator declared.
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 4, 2020
Collins suggested that the fate of President Trump’s presidency should be decided by voters.