Republican Senator Susan Collins is again parachuting over another thorny political struggle in Washington, this time, the trial for the possible dismissal of President Donald Trump.
Collins is among the few legislators left in Congress whose vote can change surprisingly.
The legislator periodically tries to make bipartisan agreements on important issues, with a history of unequal success. She is running for a fifth term in the Senate, but the Democrats blame her for not having faced the current president with enough force.RELATED
This time, the moderate Republican of Maine says she will probably support a motion to summon witnesses to testify in the process against Trump in the Senate, aligning with the Democrats. However, he said he will do so only after each party has argued his case.
Collins has joined the Democrats in initiatives such as the attempt to reduce Trump's powers to attack Iran.
Collins, 67, took that approach for almost 24 years in the Senate, even at times when the search for agreements became increasingly scarce and politically dangerous in the Trump era, prone to retaliation. Collins did it again last week, when he said she and three fellow Republicans had reached a compromise to call a vote on whether they should be called witnesses during the trial.
"She has been open to dialogue many times, when very few on the Republican side of the hall were," said Senator Richard Durbin, the second in the Democratic hierarchy in the Senate. But he added: "There have been times when my political heart has broken."
One of those moments, he said, was Collins's crucial vote that put Trump's nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, in the Supreme Court in 2018, despite accusations of sexual assault against him. That vote earned Collins the appreciation of conservatives, who had long been enraged by their moderate positions, but the enmity of the liberals who had approved their views on issues such as the right to abortion.
The reaction of Maine voters to their vote for Kavanaugh will help determine whether Collins wins a fifth six-year term in the November elections, in which he will also be elected president and in which Trump seeks re-election.