- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 25, 2020

Two of the most closely watched moderate Republican senators during President Trump’s impeachment trial were seen passing a note during the president’s counsel’s arguments Saturday.

When Jay Sekulow, the president’s personal attorney who is serving on the defense team, referenced a report issued in December from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court detailing misconduct by the FBI in probe of Trump campaign colluded with Russia, Sen. Susan Collins passed a note to Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Ms. Murkowski nodded in response to whatever Ms. Collins’ note said.

“The court received notice of material misstatements and omissions and applications filed by the government,” Mr. Sekulow was saying, around the time of the exchange.

Both the moderate Republican senators are being closely watched, as Democrats were hoping to sway them and two more from the GOP to reach a 51 vote threshold to call more witnesses. The issue over whether the chamber will hear more testimony and evidence will be debated later next week.



After the president’s team finishes its arguments, which are expected to be continued on Monday, the senators will have 16 hours to submit written questions to both sides before debating the issue of more evidence.

The House impeachment managers wrapped up their roughly 14 hours of arguments Friday, which many Republican senators said were repetitive and at times offensive.

During his closing, lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff said if moderate Republicans voted against the president, they were told they would have their “head on a pike.”

“CBS News report that a Trump confidant said that GOP senators were warned … vote against the president and your head will be on a pike,’” the California Republican said.

According to reporters in the chamber at the time, Ms. Collins, Maine Republican, was seen shaking her head saying, “That’s not true.”

Ms. Murkowski, Alaska Republican, told reporters afterward the comment from Mr. Schiff was “unnecessary.”

“That’s where he lost me,” Ms. Murkowski reportedly said Friday night.

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