Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who has so assiduously attempted to show she's above the fray of impeachment politics, is lunching at the White House Thursday, where she'll undoubtedly be subject to Donald Trump's efforts to bribe her.
Collins has been the first among Republicans to run to the cameras to say she can't possibly comment on impeachment because "my role would be to act as a juror so I'm not going to be prejudging the evidence and I’m not going to be commenting on the House's proceedings."
Collins, the juror who is supposed to remain impartial, is being wined and dined by the defendant along with fellow "principled" jurors like Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Rand Paul of Kentucky, John Hoeven of North Dakota, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. But it's Collins and Romney that are really the targets of Trump's courting here.
Her attendance at Trump's lunch hasn't gone unnoticed by the press back home in Maine, which reports that she "has yet to comment publicly on impeachment and has cited her role as a potential ‘juror’ in a Senate trial as grounds for not commenting on the House proceedings."
It's also not gone unnoticed by Mainers. "Senator Collins says she can't 'comment' to the public about the impeachment inquiry or face constituents like me in a town hall to discuss the President's quid pro quo, but she will have lunch with the defendant," said Marie Follayttar, co-director of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, in a statement.
Collins hasn't held a town meeting in more than two decades. The Maine Democratic Party asks, "Is it appropriate for a juror to dine with a potential defendant prior to a proceeding?"
Not if you're a Republican, and boy oh boy, has Collins proven herself a Republican.
Maybe she'll finally agree to meet with Mainers. She'll have plenty of opportunities during recess next week, and has an invitation for next Tuesday at noon "in every single one of her offices: Augusta, Bangor, Biddeford, Caribou, Lewiston and Portland to discuss impeachment with her constituents."
Members of Mainers for Accountable Leadership will be there. Will Collins finally show up?
Collins has chosen her side, and it's not Maine anymore. Please give $1 to help Democrats in each of these crucial Senate races, but especially the one in Maine!