On Friday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) characterized herself as “obviously” against President Trump punishing impeachment witnesses, the Portland Press Herald reports. The remarks were her first in public since she voted against impeaching Trump on Tuesday, and came almost at the same time as news was breaking that the president had fired impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert; Vindman’s twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, who was not involved in the House’s investigation; and European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, also an impeachment witness.
“I think it’s important to understand that when you’re in an impeachment trial, you consider the evidence that is before you,” Collins went on, in defense of her vote to acquit Trump, although she had initially broken with her party to call for additional witnesses. “You don’t try to make predictions. You consider the evidence that’s before you. In this case, the evidence did not meet the high bar that’s established by the Constitution for immediate removal of the president from office.”
Alexander Vindman’s attorney slammed Trump and the Senate in a statement released after his client was fired. “In recent months, many entrusted with power in our political system have cowered out of fear,” the statement read, adding: “If we allow truthful voices to be silenced, if we ignore their warnings, eventually there will be no one left to warn us.”