Don’t be fooled by Susan Collins’ claims of impartiality in Trump Senate trial: political editor
Sen. Susan Collins, who is facing a tough battle for reelection this year, has been asserting that she is determined to be a fair and impartial juror in President Donald Trump’s Senate trial on two articles of impeachment: one for abuse of power, the other obstruction of Congress. But journalist Stephen A. Crockett, Jr., in a searing op-ed published in The Root on the second day of 2020, asserts that Collins is merely pretending to be impartial — and that when all is said and done, the Maine Republican will vote with fellow Republicans just as she did during the confirmation vote on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“Every now and again,” Crockett writes, “Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) tries to act like she’s an actual politician who is open to hearing all the evidence before making a decision. It’s a masterful piece of work — like that time during Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, where Collins acted like she was concerned about his abhorrent and predatory behavior.”
Crockett, a senior editor at The Root, continues, “Remember how she acted like she gave a shit about stories of him reportedly sexually assaulting a classmate during a house party? And then, she did this nearly 45-minute grandstanding speech on the floor that ended with: ‘Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.’”
Collins, Crockett notes, has criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for “working closely with the White House” on Trump’s impeachment trial. The Maine senator recently stressed, “It is inappropriate, in my judgment, for senators on either side of the aisle to prejudge the evidence before they have heard what is presented to us, because each of us will take an oath — an oath that I take very seriously to render impartial justice.”
But Crockett wonders if perhaps McConnell and Collins are playing a game of good cop/bad cop: two different approaches, but both with the end goal of Trump being acquitted in a Senate trial.
“Collins is full of shit,” Crockett asserts. “I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that Collins and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) cooked this whole scheme up over the holidays.”
Collins, now 67, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, and she was reelected by double digits in 2002, 2008 and 2014 (when she defeated Democratic nominee Shenna Bellows by 37%). Collins had no problem getting reelected under either President George W. Bush or President Barack Obama, but 2020 will be her first reelection campaign of the Trump era — and Democrats in Maine are furious with her for voting for Kavanaugh’s confirmation in 2018.
Collins is facing a longshot primary challenge from GOP activist Derek Levasseur. While Maine Democrats have criticized Collins’ voting record for being too pro-Trump, Levasseur believes that she isn’t pro-Trump enough.
If Collins makes it to the general election, she might be competing with Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (who is seeking the Democratic nomination).