President Trump is impeached for committing “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Next, the Senate will sit in judgment at trial to decide whether Trump is removed from office. Such a trial deserves all the rigor and thoroughness this solemn occasion demands.

In a recent Maine Public interview, Sen. Susan Collins, speaking of the looming trial, said, “I am open to witnesses. I think it’s premature to decide who should be called until we see the evidence that is presented and get the answers to the questions that we senators can submit through the Chief Justice to both sides.”

That seems reasonable until you contrast what she said with what she knows. She knows Trump continues to prevent people with direct knowledge of his actions from testifying. Recently revealed documents seem to confirm that the hold on Ukrainian aid came directly from Trump over the objections of those officials Trump prevents from telling what they know of his (illegal?) activities. So what can Sen. Collins mean when she says, “I think it’s premature to decide who should be called”?

Donald Trump is charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The president should expect and receive a fair trial in the Senate. Will Sen. Collins stray from her sworn responsibility to “support and defend the Constitution”? A fair trial in the Senate must include witnesses with information relevant to the charges, whether that be supporting or damaging. Does our senator understand that? Or is that more than Susan Collins is able to comprehend?

Len Freeman

Portland

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