Collins says it would not be appropriate for Trump to retaliate against impeachment witnesses

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden asks if public can trust vaccine from Trump ahead of Election Day | Oklahoma health officials raised red flags before Trump rally Gideon leads Collins by 12 points in Maine Senate race: poll Senate leaders quash talk of rank-and-file COVID-19 deal MORE (R-Maine), one of two Republicans to vote last week to subpoena additional witnesses and extend the impeachment trial, said Friday that she would disapprove of President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE retaliating against anyone who came forward with evidence against him.

Collins spoke with reporters at a meeting of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association and her comments were reported by the Portland Press Herald.

The New York Times reported Friday that Army Lt. Col. Alexander VindmanAlexander VindmanImpeachment witness Alexander Vindman calls Trump Putin's 'useful idiot' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden renew push for Latino support Strzok: Trump behaving like an authoritarian MORE, who provided key testimony against Trump during the House impeachment inquiry, will be transferred out of the National Security Council and reassigned to another job within the military.


Trump told reporters, “I’m not happy with him.”

The subject of retaliation against Republican senators came up for debate during the Senate trial when CBS News reported that a “confidant” of the president said they were warned, “vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.”

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Defense: Top admiral says 'no condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' | Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Overnight Defense: House to vote on military justice bill spurred by Vanessa Guillén death | Biden courts veterans after Trump's military controversies Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings MORE (D-Calif.) caused an uproar when he alluded to the report during his closing arguments, and Republican senators later denied they were ever threatened by the president or one of his allies.

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP-led panel to hear from former official who said Burisma was not a factor in US policy Joe Biden's dangerous view of 'normalcy' The electoral reality that the media ignores MORE (Utah), the only Republican senator to vote to remove Trump from office, told The New York Times’s “The Daily” podcast Thursday that he expects to face “unimaginable" consequences for breaking with his party.

“I know there’ll be consequences and I just have to recognize that and do what you think is right,” he said.


On Wednesday, speaking on the Senate floor, Romney predicted, “I am sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters.”

Collins also revealed that she received three credible death threats since her votes Wednesday to acquit the president on two articles of impeachment.

She said defended her vote, arguing that it was not a reflection of her personal feelings toward the president.

“I think what has been lost in this debate is: This is not a vote on whether you like the president or you dislike the president, whether you support his policies or whether you oppose his policies, whether you would prefer that his conduct were more elevated or whether you agree with how he presents himself,” Collins said, according to the Press Herald.

“This was a vote on the evidence presented by the House … of whether they met the very high bar of bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors that is set forth in the Constitution,” she said.


Collins noted that she was one of two Republicans, along with Romney, who pushed to extend the trial.

“I voted to hear additional witnesses, I thought there should be a limited number chosen by each side in the interest of fairness and I’m sorry that was defeated,” she said.

Collins said she hoped that testimony from additional witnesses could have cleared up “inconsistencies and gaps” in the record.