Oct 6, 2019

Susan Collins condemns Trump's call for China to investigate Bidens

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Saturday became the 3rd Republican senator to break ranks with GOP leadership and condemn President Trump's public call for China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The big picture: Collins joins Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) in publicly criticizing Trump's comments, which he made just days after Democrats launched a formal impeachment inquiry over revelations that he had made the same request to the president of Ukraine.

What they're saying: Collins said it was "completely inappropriate" for Trump to invite China to investigate Biden.

"I thought the president made a big mistake by asking China to get involved in investigating a political opponent."

Between the lines: Should the House vote to impeach Trump, the Senate would host a trial to determine whether the president should be removed from office.

  • While none of the senators have said they believe Trump's actions are directly impeachable, Collins said she hopes proceedings "will be done with the seriousness that any impeachment proceeding deserves."
  • "Should the articles of impeachment come to the Senate — and right now I’m going to guess that they will — I will be acting as a juror as I did in the Clinton impeachment trial," she added.

Go deeper: Trump's trifecta of asking foreign powers to interfere in U.S. elections

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Zero members of Trump administration appear on Sunday talk shows

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration was noticeably absent on Sunday's cable news lineup, with not a single member making an appearance on CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS or NBC.

Why it matters: President Trump is in the midst of an impeachment storm over allegations that he pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The Sunday shows are widely viewed as a space for political actors to speak directly to the public and relay their perspectives on pressing political issues.

Go deeperArrowOct 6, 2019

Senators cry "juror" to avoid impeachment questions

Sen. Susan Collins: Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. Sen. Chuck Schumer: Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images.

As pressure grows on senators to take a stance on impeachment, both Republicans and Democrats have argued that their positions as potential jurors in the case against President Trump precludes them from commenting.

The big picture: Trial jurors in traditional criminal cases are not permitted to speak about a case outside of the courtroom. But while the Senate would technically be holding a "trial" against the president in the likely scenario that the House votes to impeach, the trial — which is a political proceeding — would not be held to the same standards as a criminal case.

Go deeperArrowOct 28, 2019

Trump: Republicans must get tougher and fight impeachment threat

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a Cabinet meeting in the White House, Oct. 21. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump denounced Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) Monday as he said Republicans "have to get tougher and fight" because the Democrats are "trying to hurt" the GOP before the 2020 election, as the House impeachment inquiry looms.

"I think they're lousy politicians. But two things they have: They're vicious and they stick together. They don't have Mitt Romney in their midst. They don't have people like that. They stick together. You never see them break off."
— Trump speaking about Democrats

The big picture: Trump made the remarks during a lengthy Cabinet meeting, a day after "Axios on HBO" broadcast an interview with Romney during which he said Trump's appeals to China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden were "shocking" and a "mistake."

Go deeper: The 2 Republican senators to watch as Trump's impeachment looms

Keep ReadingArrowOct 22, 2019