Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, during an appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday defended her controversial decision to vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court while slamming the Maine progressive groups that have pledged millions of dollars to the Democrat who runs against her in 2020 as an attempt to “buy votes and buy positions.”
A crowdfunding campaign on CrowdPac launched by ALS patient and activist Ady Barkan earlier this year was meant to encourage Collins to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation – donors made pledges to the campaign and wouldn’t be charged if the lawmaker voted against Kavanaugh. But she did, meaning the funds raised now go to the person who becomes her Democratic opponent.
So far, Collins doesn’t have a challenger. But Susan Rice, who was President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, is reportedly considering challenging Collins.
Collins called the crowdfunding campaign, “a classic quid pro quo as defined in our bribery laws. They are asking me to perform an official act, and if I do not do what they want, $2 million-plus is going to go to my opponent. I think that if our politics has come to the point where people are trying to buy votes and buy positions, then we are in a very sad place,” she said.
Collins said the lack of evidence in sexual assault claims lodged against the judge was a big factor in her decision to support Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“I would have voted no if I disbelieved Judge Kavanaugh, but given his denials and the lack of evidence that this happened I just did not think that it was fair to ruin the life of this distinguished judge and his family over allegations that cannot be proven,” she told CBS’ Scott Pelley.
“I would never vote for someone who had committed sexual assault or who had lied about sexual assault. That’s not a hard call for me.”