Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins issued the following statement on the start of the impeachment trial:
The organizing resolution presented to the Senate today provides for a vote on whether to subpoena witnesses and documents at the conclusion of questions by Senators. This is the same point at which the Senate voted on witnesses and documents during the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial. In keeping with the model used in President Clinton’s trial, prior to hearing the case and the answers to Senators’ questions, I will vote to table any attempts by either side to subpoena documents or witnesses before that stage in the trial.
After hearing the case and asking questions, Senators will be able to make an informed judgement about what is in dispute, what is important, and what remains relevant to the underlying issues. That is one of the reasons why all 100 Senators agreed to this sequence during the Clinton trial.
As I said last week, while I need to hear the case argued and the questions answered, I anticipate that I would conclude that having additional information would be helpful. It is likely that I would support a motion to subpoena witnesses at that point in the trial just as I did in 1999.