Maine Attorneys Release Statement Asking Collins to Vote to Include Evidence, Witnesses in Impeachment Trial
Press Release - Mainers for Accountable Leadership
Over two dozen attorneys across the state published a joint statement calling on Senator Susan Collins to support a vote for trial rules that guarantee inclusion of all evidence in the impeachment case against Donald Trump. The statement read:
We call on Senator Susan Collins to stand up and advocate for a full, credible trial of the issues raised by the Articles of Impeachment passed by the U.S. House of Representatives vote. A legitimate trial in the U.S. Senate will include a presentation of all the critical evidence related to President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. It would include hearing from witnesses to those events.
The letter was circulated by Mainers for Accountable Leadership (MFAL), a state advocacy group that has spearheaded efforts to highlight Collins’ unwillingness to publicly commit to voting for a fair and comprehensive Senate Impeachment trial. MFAL circulated a letter signed on by 15 Maine based organizations earlier this month.
For weeks, across the state and in DC Senator Collins has received pressure from constituents to vote on rules that allow for subpoenas of documents from the White House, State Department and other agencies, as well as testimony from White House officials that could shed light on the case.
On Monday, McConnell revealed the long-awaited resolution setting the initial parameters for how the process will play out. Tuesday consisted of 12 hours of acrimonious debate between House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team on adoption of this resolution. In the end, Collins voted along party lines on 10 out of 11 amendments proposed by House managers, which included striking down the most anticipated amendments calling for inclusion of further documents and witnesses.
Several of the signees submitted statements along with their endorsement:
Regardless of the outcome of the Senate impeachment trial, it needs to be conducted in a fair and serious manner. Senators from both parties need to go into it with open minds. Otherwise, the trial will be a sham and its outcome meaningless. Our country deserves better. No matter what anyone thinks of the president, his impeachment trial should reflect impartial consideration, not partisan politics. This cannot happen without the introduction of relevant documents and the testimony of people who have first-hand knowledge of what transpired.
-- Nancy Wanderer, retired law professor and attorney from Falmouth, Maine
The hearings in the House were the equivalent of an FBI investigation and Grand Jury proceeding. The trial in the Senate is just that, a trial. For hundreds of years trials have had witnesses, but here they balk? Let's find out what they are scared of.
-- Andrew Schmidt, practicing attorney from Portland, Maine
When it comes to fulfilling your constitutional duty and ensuring the robust health of our democracy, calling relevant witnesses and hearing the evidence as a representative of the people, rather than as a partisan member of the Republican Party, must be paramount.
-- Annabelle Steinhacker, practicing attorney from Eastport, Maine
If you fear the truth, quit your job and find another.
-- Paula Arsenault, licensed attorney from Boothbay, Maine
A recent Reuters poll showed that 72 percent of the American public agreed that the trial “should allow witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the impeachment charges to testify,” including 84 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of Republicans.
After both sides conclude with their opening arguments, the Senate will vote to either continue the trial and allow for House managers and Trump’s legal team to subpoena witnesses or to end the trial with the arguments that have been presented. If a simple majority of Senators votes for the latter, the trial will move onto a final vote on whether to convict or acquit the president on each count of impeachment.
Senator Collins will therefore have one final opportunity to vote to call witnesses to testify.
For more information on Mainers for Accountable Leadership or this news release, email Caitlin DeLuca at firstname.lastname@example.org.