Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, informed Republicans on Tuesday that he planned to move forward with President Trump’s impeachment trial without committing to additional witnesses or admitting new evidence, over the objections of Democrats who are insisting on both.
Mr. McConnell shared his intentions with senators over lunch in the Capitol, declaring that he had the votes he needed — including among moderate Republicans — to proceed with the trial while putting off a final decision on witnesses or new evidence. That would mean the Senate would tackle those questions after representatives of the House and the president make opening arguments and senators question both sides.
Notably, the plan offers no guarantee that senators will hear new testimony beyond what the House’s inquiry gathered last fall.
You’ll never guess who after a Hamlet-like period of fake deliberation folded to Trump:
There is no deader horse to beat in the gutters of Blogistan than Susan Collins’s endless fandango with her amazingly malleable political conscience. Entire generations, it seems, have been born and gone to dust in the time it takes for Collins to make up her mind and come to the usually inevitable conclusion that she’s a Republican and, therefore, crazy. If Collins were a weathervane, she’d spin so fast that the entire roof of the barn would come off and sail away across the landscape.
On Tuesday, though, we may have had a masterclass in Collinsology. She took entirely predictable dives on two major issues involving the president* who so often gives her great cause for Serious Concerns. First, she’s decided, along with the slightly less predictable Lisa Murkowski, to line up with Mitch McConnell’s effort to short-circuit the impeachment trial in the Senate. Collins followed that up with a characteristic bit of forelock-tugging on the question of whether the president* can make war on Iran on his own. It is an altogether remarkable parlay of cowardice masquerading as thoughtfulness.
I would like to think that the fine people of Maine have seen enough of this.