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Susan Collins asked Justice Roberts to intervene after Nadler late-night 'cover-up' accusation

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court takes case that could diminish Roe v. Wade | White House to send US-authorized vaccines overseas for first time White House: Biden committed to codifying Roe v. Wade regardless of Miss. case CDC's about-face on masks appears politically motivated to help a struggling Biden MORE (R-Maine) wrote a note to Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday morning, moments before he admonished the House impeachment managers and President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE’s defense team for a fiery exchange between Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcGahn to sit for closed-door interview with House Democrats House to consider anti-Asian hate crimes bill, protections for pregnant workers this month A historic moment to truly honor mothers MORE (D-N.Y.) and White House counsel Pat Cipollone around 1 a.m. 

Collins later revealed in an interview with the press that she wrote the note to the justice asking him to make sure that the Senate rules on what she believed were unsettling comments apply to the House Judiciary Committee chairman. The rule would strike the words of a senator, should they impute a colleague. 

Nadler accused Republican senators of participating in a “cover-up” after voting against amendments that would have allowed them to bring witnesses to the trial.

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CNN first reported on Collins’s note to Roberts, and most reactions from Republican senators were less discreet.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — a fellow moderate Republican — told reporters she took offense to the comments.  

“As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended," Murkowski said.

In an interview with reporters after the Tuesday night hearing on rules, Collins said she was “stunned” by Nadler’s accusation and revealed why she had sent the note to Roberts.  

“Well, I was stunned by Congressman Nadler’s approach, and it reminded me that if we were in a normal debate in the Senate that the rule will be invoked to strike the words of the Senator, for imputing another Senator in this case, so I did write a note raising the issue of whether there had been a violation of the rules of the Senate, and I gave that note to Laura Dove, and well shortly thereafter the Chief Justice did admonish both sides and I was glad that he did,” Collins said, according to a transcript an aide provided to The Hill. 

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It’s unclear if Collins’s note prompted Roberts's admonishing comments to both parties shortly afterward. The Supreme Court did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill.

Eyes have been on Collins since impeachment proceedings reached the Senate. She and a handful of other moderates are seen as potential swing votes for impeachment, or at least allies in bringing in witnesses like former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonRepublicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process Trump pushes back on Bolton poll Hillicon Valley: Facebook Oversight board to rule on Trump ban in 'coming weeks' | Russia blocks Biden Cabinet officials in retaliation for sanctions MORE

A recent poll released last week showed that Collins dropped 10 points in her approval rating in her home state since the end of September, another sign that the senator is will face a tough reelection this year.