What Changed Susan? Collins Now Silent On The Same “Threat” Against Witnesses That She Condemned In 1999

In 1999, Collins Called the White House’s Warning Against Allowing Witnesses a “Threat” to the Senate — Today, She’s Silent as White House Defense Makes the Exact Argument She Once Condemned

When Senator Susan Collins called for witnesses in 1999, she slammed the White House defense’s argument that “by allowing witnesses, the trial could go on for months.” Here’s what she had to say then:

“One of Clinton’s lawyers, David Kendall, warned that by allowing witnesses, the trial could go on for months. Kendall’s warning didn’t go over very well with Collins or several other Republicans. ‘I think that’s a threat and I think it’s amazing for Mr. Kendall to threaten the United States Senate,’ Collins said in an interview in the Capitol.” [Portland Press Herald, 1/28/99]

Now, President Trump’s defense team is making the exact same argument as they seek to bar witnesses from testifying in the impeachment trial. The only difference is that this time, Senator Collins is silent. So what’s changed?

In 1999, Senator Collins set a clear standard for ensuring a fair trial when she said firmly, “I need witnesses and further evidence,” pledged that “We are committed to doing everything we can to review the facts…” and accused the president’s lawyers of “threaten[ing[ the United States Senate” when they argued against hearing from witnesses. Today, she’s refusing to meet that standard. She voted with Mitch McConnell 10 times against allowing key witnesses and evidence, and as the defense revives an argument against allowing witnesses that she once denounced, she “still won’t definitively commit” to allowing witnesses — turning her back on the “overwhelming majority of Mainers” who want to see a fair trial.

“Throughout this trial, Senator Collins has put political expediency ahead of her duty to Mainers and her responsibility to serve as an impartial juror,” said DSCC spokesperson Helen Kalla. “It’s been a long time since Mainers could count on Senator Collins to put them first, but her refusal to speak out against the same argument she once denounced as a ‘threat’ to the U.S. Senate is stunningly disingenuous.”

Read this release on


Next Post

What Changed Susan? In 1999, Collins Used Her First Two Questions To Call For Witnesses But Now “Won’t Definitively Commit” To Hearing Testimony

Stay Connected

IN THE STATES: Senate Democrats Highlight How They’re Fighting For Working Families During State Work Period

19 hrs Ago

ago on Twitter


Defend Our Democratic
Senate Majority

Sign up to receive text updates. By participating, you consent to receive recurring committee & fundraising messages from the DSCC, including automated text messages. Msg & Data rates may apply. Privacy Policy & ToS.