What Changed Susan? In 1999, Senator Collins Said “I Need Witnesses” But Now Thinks the Senate Needs to Decide “Whether” They Should Be Heard At All

Senator Susan Collins has a new “sleight of hand” on impeachment and is now saying the Senate should consider “whether” witnesses should be heard at all. The latest comments are another example of how Senator Collins is refusing to demand the same standards that she called for 20 years ago be applied now.

Here’s what Senator Collins said in 1999: “I need more evidence. I need witnesses and further evidence to guide me to the right destination, to get to the truth.”

Here’s what she’s saying now: “I have been working for and advocating… setting up the parameters of the trial that would allow for a vote on whether or not we should have witnesses subpoenaed and documented provided.” 

The new talking point is evidence of the pressure Senator Collins is facing for not taking “any immediate action” to secure a fair trial. Senator Collins is under scrutiny for refusing to meet the standards she once set on hearing from witnesses and seeing evidence, for siding with Mitch McConnell to move forward without a commitment to hear witnesses and for “very rarely actually” breaking with her party. 

“Senator Collins was once clear and direct, but now she’s parsing her words and standing with Mitch McConnell to move forward with a process that could include no witnesses,” said DSCC spokesperson Stewart Boss. “With each day, it looks like Senator Collins is more interested in finding political cover than the truth.”

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.


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