Conservative columnist blasts Susan Collins for playing into Trump's hands on impeachment
Democrats and Never Trump conservatives have been hoping — not expecting, but hoping — that Sen. Susan Collins of Maine would be among the more reasonable Senate Republicans during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. But conservative Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin, in her column on Thursday, laments that Collins’ reaction to new Ukraine-related evidence provided by Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas is hardly the reaction of someone who wants “a full and fair impeachment trial.”
After Parnas gave the evidence to the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week, Collins responded, “I wonder why the House did not put that into the record, and it’s only now being revealed.” And when Collins was told that the House had just received the documents from Parnas, she commented, “Doesn’t that suggest that the House did an incomplete job, then?”
If Collins were “keeping abreast of the facts,” Rubin writes, she would be troubled by the new evidence that has emerged in the Ukraine scandal.
“Documents emerged showing that then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was under surveillance by a pack of thugs, and that a former Ukrainian prosecutor was, in effect, offering a bribe — an announcement that one of Trump’s political rivals was under investigation — for a public act: firing the ambassador,” Collins writes.
The “political rival” Rubin was referring to, of course, is former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Collins’ notion seems to be that the surefire way to prevent Trump’s removal by the Senate is to stonewall the House,” Rubin observes. “Oddly, that’s been Trump’s tactic as well, which explains why the second article of impeachment accuses Trump of obstructing Congress.”
Rubin interviewed former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah (who is running for district attorney in a Democratic primary in Westchester County, New York) for her column, and Rocah was highly critical of the Maine senator.
“Sen. Collins is either ignorant and uninformed because she doesn’t understand or know that a federal court only just released the Parnas docs or she is just making up excuses because the documents are so damning,” Rocah told Rubin. “Either one is unacceptable, and the real question she should be asking is why Trump was trying to hide them.”
Rubin stresses that Collins’ job in Trump’s impeachment trial isn’t to reflexively defend the Republican Party — it’s to take a close look at the evidence.
“The responsibility rests with the Senate to allow relevant evidence to be presented,” Rubin asserts. “The question is whether Collins will read from the White House script or uphold her oath. Maine voters are watching closely.”