Hey, Look, Susan Collins Is Being Susan Collins About Trump's Rigged Impeachment Trial
Donald Trump's sham impeachment trial in the GOP-controlled Senate hasn't even started yet and already Susan Collins is Susan Collins-ing. Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Mitch McConnell Sunday stating that he'd like a trial with "witnesses" and "testimony." The minority leader even got saucy and demanded documents that the White House keeps in a special file marked "Incriminating." Lady Susan of Maine was aghast that Schumer shared his correspondence with the common people.
"I was surprised that he didn't first sit down with the Senate majority leader and discuss his proposals rather than doing a letter that he released to the press," Collins said. "The more constructive way would have been for him to sit down with Sen. McConnell."
Way to go, Chuck! Your vulgar, indiscreet actions have brought shame to the Senate. Politico called releasing the letter an "aggressive play" from Schumer, who is normally a fuzzy, bipartisan doormat. It looks like trying to play tough for once has backfired and he's offended noted moderate "swing" voter Collins. She claims she's "undecided" about impeachment, but we all know she'll vote how McConnell tells her. If she wanted to go all Emily Post about Senate decorum, she should've chastised her Republican colleague Lindsey Graham. The South Carolina senator won't shut up about how much he opposes impeachment. He said he's not "trying to pretend to be a fair juror." He'd played the part of a decent human being once and got snubbed at Oscar season, so he just doesn't care anymore.
Unless Collins was riding business class on a turnip truck for the past week, she should also know that McConnell declared the Senate majority fully in the bag for the president. He said they're all on the "same side," and it's clear that Trump's side doesn't want a fair proceeding. This is probably why Schumer went public in the first place. Collins is OK with Republicans signaling to Trump supporters that the game is fixed, but she apparently wants Democrats to beg for a less corrupt process in private.
Schumer wants McConnell to allow these witnesses to testify in Senate impeachment trial www.youtube.com
Schumer wants the Senate to call at least four witnesses, including White House (acting) Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton. Republicans argue that if Schumer wants to turn this into a circus with relevant witness testimony, they have a right to force completely irrelevant witnesses to walk on tightropes for our entertainment.
"I want to hear from Hunter Biden ... I want to hear from the whistleblower," said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).
Hawley probably wants a cheese sandwich, too, but that doesn't mean he should get one.
"If we're going to have witnesses ... then you're going to have allow the defense to call witnesses that they believe are exculpatory. If that's the direction [Democrats] want to go, then that's what we'll do," said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). "You can't have a process where only side gets to call unlimited witnesses."
Four witnesses aren't "unlimited," even if paired with servings of soup, salad, and breadsticks. Rubio is not so subtly threatening to support Trump and some House conservatives' desire to drag in Hunter and Joe Biden, or even Adam Schiff. It's typically Republican to play the victim: If Democrats keep pushing for a fair trial, Republicans will have no choice but to make it as unfair as possible.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.