Whether we want to admit it or not, there remains an element deep within our party that still wants Trump removed from office.
While we all know Senator Romney (R-UT) was part of that faction, we may now be able to add Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to that mix.
According to reports, Collins is quietly working behind the scenes to rally Republican Senators to support the calling of witnesses during the impeachment trial.
Going Against McConnell
Because the Democrats did not make their case during the House hearing, Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) stated that he does not believe they need to call witnesses in the Senate hearing.
After all, if the Dems failed to make a reasonable case and still impeached Trump, why should he help them in their pursuit of the removal of this president, right?
After Minority Leader Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent his wish list of witnesses, which included former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Romney spoke up to say that he might want to hear what Bolton has to say.
Not long after that, the centrist Republican Senator Collins started hinting she also may want to hear witnesses, which is going to put a big wrench in the plans McConnell had for a quick and speedy trial.
What Happens Now?
The original plan by McConnell and the one that seemed to be the most popular with the majority of Republican Senators was to hold opening arguments, then proceed for a vote of the dismissal of charges.
However, for that to happen, McConnell will need to have 51 of the 53 Republican votes available in the Senate, assuming Democrats vote along party lines.
With Romney and Collins now walking the line, McConnell has no votes to spare if he is hoping to have an early dismissal.
My best guess at this point is that McConnell is going to have to call some witnesses, but he may take the same approach that Dems took and have final approval over any witness being called.
Remember, though, this is a more formal trial, so hearsay evidence will more than likely not be permitted to be entered into evidence.
So, all that nonsense you heard from second and third-hand accounts in the House hearings will not even be allowed into the record in a Senate hearing.
Something else to consider is that if this does get drug out much longer, it is going to severely impact the ability of Bernie Sanders to campaign through the early primary dates.
My personal opinion, though, is that it was all part of the plan from the beginning by Pelosi, as I believe she wanted to use this impeachment not only to hurt Trump but also to hurt Sanders and prevent him from winning the nomination.
It is no secret Democrats don’t want Bernie in there, and what better way to hand the early states to Biden than by preventing Sanders from being able to campaign (he will have to be in D.C. six days a week for every Senate session during the impeachment).
Source: Washington Examiner
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