I have been appalled at the public comments and actions by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham indicating their clear predetermination of the outcome of an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. I have heard from many friends in Maine and in other parts of the country expressing similar dismay and skepticism regarding the handling of this matter by the Senate.

For me, this is far more than an impeachment trial of President Trump. It’s about the integrity of our governmental structure and the confidence and faith which citizens can place in the institutions and processes established by the Constitution. The Senate historically has been among the most venerable and prestigious bodies in our country, and perhaps in the world. The manner in which the Senate handles the impeachment trial will be truly historic, either to maintain its integrity or to critically damage its reputation and standing in the eyes of our citizens.

Like Sen. Susan Collins, I was a government major at St. Lawrence University (class of 1968). Looking back on the classes we both took, I fervently hope Collins will adhere to her strong sense of civic responsibility and ethics to insist on a fair and deliberative process that holds each senator to uphold the solemn oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.

Given the statements and actions of the two aforementioned senators, I believe it is especially incumbent upon Collins and others in her party to demonstrate true political courage and leadership to insist on a process with integrity and beyond reproach.

Christopher G. Lockwood

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