What Changed Susan? From “I Need Evidence” to “Willful Blindness”

In 1999, Senator Susan Collins was adamant about the need to see all the evidence in an impeachment trial and said directly, “I need more evidence.”

Now, she’s shed that stance, “stonewalling” new evidence and “acting in supreme bad faith” by refusing to commit to a fair trial under the same standards she set two decades ago.

“Senator Collins has gone from parsing her words to try to get political cover and is now dismissing new evidence,” said DSCC spokesperson Stewart Boss. “She has had every opportunity to demand witnesses are heard – she hasn’t. Now, as new details emerge, she is echoing McConnell’s talking points and falling in line with her party instead of following through on her pledge to be an independent juror.”

See what they’re saying about Senator Collins’ refusal to stand up for a fair process that includes witnesses and important evidence:


Joe Scarborough: “I don’t think Susan Collins is stupid, so she just must be acting in supreme bad faith. And if she thinks the people of Maine are going to re-elect her, acting like that, it’s shocking.”


GOP strategist Rick Wilson: “…the voters do not want somebody who empowers corrupt behavior in office. And Susan Collins doing this thing yesterday, it’s the typical fan dance that she does… and then goes ahead and does exactly what Trump needs. Now, this is a behavior that I think citizens in Maine will eventually say, that’s enough.’”


National Security Analyst Susan Hennessey: “How terrible will it look for people like Susan Collins… if they participate effectively in a cover-up, by refusing to call witnesses, refusing to request additional documents?”

Washington Post (Opinion): Susan Collins’s willful blindness already looks awful

By Jennifer Rubin

January 16, 2020

Key Points:

  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) replied yesterday to a reporter’s question about the blockbuster Lev Parnas documents handed over to the House on Tuesday. “I wonder why the House did not put that into the record and it’s only now being revealed,” she said. When told the House had just received them, she retorted, “Doesn’t that suggest that the House did an incomplete job, then?” No, and her reply should deeply concern the voters of Maine and anyone who wants a full and fair impeachment trial.
  • Collins’s first reaction was not, “We need to get to the bottom of this and find out whether the president’s cohorts were spying on our ambassador!” It was not, “How in the world could the secretary of state allowed this to go on?” It was not, “Well, in a full and fair trial in the Senate, we want to get those documents.”
  • No, it was a right-wing talking point claiming (falsely) that the House’s inability to get evidence because of the president’s stonewalling bars such evidence from being used in a Senate trial. Collins’s notion seems to be that the surefire way to prevent Trump’s removal by the Senate is to stonewall the House.
  • No trial court judge says, “New witness available? Sorry, he didn’t come before the grand jury that indicted the defendant!” Collins’s obligation is to make sure the American people, not just Trump, get a fair trial.

Read the full column here.

The DSCC launched WhatChangedSusan.com to highlight Senator Collins’ alignment with Mitch McConnell and refusal to set the same standards for a fair impeachment process that she did in 1999. WhatChangedSusan.com will be updated regularly as the impeachment process unfolds. 


What Changed Senator Collins logo
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email