All Americans should be astonished and saddened by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s position on constructing rules for the president’s impeachment trial. He wants a quick trial, with no witnesses called by either side, apparently believing that through such a trial he will be able to enforce the partisanship favoring Senate Republicans. More despicable is his stated intention to coordinate openly with the White House to fashion trial rules, in fact creating an alliance between jury and accused.

Our Sen. Angus King has stated clearly that “I know of no legal proceeding in any forum where the alleged wrongdoer controls the availability of material witnesses. In most situations, in fact, the very attempt to do so is a crime in itself.”

Some think Sen. Susan Collins might be able to moderate McConnell’s strategy for the better. I wrote to her in December suggesting that “a statement . . . that criticizes (McConnell’s) collusion with the president would not compromise your independence as a juror in these matters.” I haven’t received a reply directly, but note her public statement that she is “open to witnesses.” That seems to be the extent of her advocacy for justice and fairness. I continue to wish for more from her.

Sen. Collins’ aversion to strong leadership by staying aloof until, at the last minute, she falls in line behind her party’s leaders and her own self-interest, should be disheartening to all her constituents, regardless of party.

Stephen Bloom

South Portland

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