Susan Collins says she really can't comment on impeachment — but that's not stopping her from prejudging the evidence
Sen. Susan Collins doesn't want to talk about the impeachment inquiry—at least not with the Maine media. But when it comes to the big media folks in D.C., it's a different story.
She sent a statement to the Bangor Daily News saying, "I will not be commenting on the House proceedings." Because the "Constitutional role of a Senator during an impeachment trial includes serving as a juror," and it isn't "appropriate for a Senator to comment on the merits of the House inquiry or prejudge its outcome." So, so principled. But literally minutes before that statement, she was dishing to Politico reporter Burgess Everett, and it kind of sounded like she was itching to prejudge. "I don't know what evidence they're using at this point," she said about the House. "I still hold hope out that we can legislate … but this could affect everything." That was Tuesday.
Now it's Wednesday, and she's maybe or maybe not seen the Trump/Ukraine phone call memo, but does think it "raises a number of important questions." Questions she can't comment on at all, again, because "I would remind everyone, if articles of impeachment are passed by the House, that my role would be to act as a juror so I’m not going to be prejudging the evidence and I’m not going to be commenting on the House’s proceedings."
Uh huh. It's not the first time she ran to Politico to prejudge damaging information about Trump. Remember the memo from Attorney General William Barr that said Robert Mueller completely exonerated Trump, before anyone saw even a redacted version of Mueller's report, which did not totally exonerate Trump? Here's Collins making judgments, again, to Burgess Everett. "He has been exonerated on the issue of conspiracy or coordination with the Russians," she said, noting "that she wants to read the full Mueller report and get a classified briefing on the obstruction of justice issue." But based on her not reading the whole report or getting a classified briefing, there was no there there, she was sure. "But it seems to me that we have seen no grounds at all for impeachment proceedings to be started by the House."
But she can't really comment on that, or anything, now, because there are impeachment proceedings. She'll continue to run to the national media to explain to them that she really needs to be being quiet, but will furrow her brow about "important questions." Which, again, she can't discuss, but still wants to make sure she and her concern about the things she really shouldn't be talking about are mentioned in the article.