Updated Feb 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Susan Collins will vote to acquit Trump in impeachment trial

Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.) announced Tuesday that she will vote to acquit President Trump in his impeachment trial, despite believing that the president's actions toward Ukraine “demonstrated very poor judgment.”

Why it matters: The moderate senator was thought to be among the likeliest of the Republicans to vote to convict Trump. Her decision to acquit Trump means Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is Democrats' last chance for a bipartisan conviction vote.

What she's saying: "It was wrong for President Trump to mention former Vice President Biden on that phone call and wrong for him to ask a foreign country to investigate his political rival," Collins said. But she added that "impeachment of a president should be reserved for conduct that poses such a serious threat" to government institutions.

  • "I do not believe the House has met its burden of showing the president's conduct warrants the extreme step of removing him from office," Collins said.

Collins said in an interview with The CBS Evening News that she believes Trump has "learned his lesson" about seeking foreign election interference, despite the president's continued insistence that he did nothing wrong.

Go deeper: Live impeachment updates

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Trump impeachment debate recap: Senators speak ahead of final vote

Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Senators spent Tuesday debating the articles of impeachment against President Trump ahead of the trial's resumption on Wednesday, when the chamber is expected to vote to acquit.

The big picture: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in condemning Trump's conduct toward Ukraine as "inappropriate," but ultimately said she would vote to acquit. Sen. Mitt Romney, who along with Collins was one of two Republicans to vote in favor of witnesses, is the Democrats' last chance for a bipartisan conviction vote.

Mitt Romney says he will vote to convict Trump in impeachment trial

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) will vote to convict President Trump for abuse of power and acquit him for obstruction of Congress in the Senate impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Romney is the only Republican senator to break ranks and vote to remove Trump from office, though the president is still expected to be acquitted later today.

Susan Collins faces competitive Senate race, poll indicates

Susan Collins. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is up against a steep challenge for her seat for the first time since 1996, according to a Colby College poll, which shows her in a statistical tie with her expected Democratic opponent.

Why it matters: As one of the most centrist Republicans in the Senate during Trump's presidency, Collins has served as a pivotal swing vote on a number of key issues.