WASHINGTON — Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who Democrats are counting on to help them garner enough votes to force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to call witnesses, sent the strongest signal yet that she’s likely to support hearing from witnesses.

Collins sought to clarify confusion over her previous comments on the issue. In a statement Thursday evening, she affirmed that she would not vote with Democrats next week to subpoena documents or witnesses, but would be amenable to doing so after hearing the arguments in the case.

“While I need to hear the case argued and the questions answered, I tend to believe having additional information would be helpful,” she said. “It is likely that I would support a motion to call witnesses at that point in the trial just as I did in 1999” — referring to the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

Collins also said she hasn’t “made a decision on any particular witnesses.”

“When we reach the appropriate point in the trial, I would like to hear from both sides about which witnesses, if any, they would like to call,” she said.

Democrats need four Republicans to vote with them to cross the 51-vote threshold needed when they vote on whether to call witnesses.

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