Collins: It’s ‘very sexist’ to assume I asked McConnell’s permission in witness vote
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) asserted on Fox News Wednesday that it is “very sexist” for people to assume she received permission from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) when she voted to include additional witnesses and documentation in President Trump’s impeachment trial.
Collins was reacting to a tweet from David Frum, a staff writer at The Atlantic, who said he assumed Collins asked the Senate majority leader for permission for her vote last week while Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) did not.
I dont know why I feel so sure of this, yet I am sure: Susan Collins asked Mitch McConnell for permission to vote for witnesses. Mitt Romney didn’t.
— David Frum (@davidfrum) February 1, 2020
“I’ve cast more than 7,000 votes in my Senate time, and I’ve never asked anyone for permission on how to vote,” she told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Wednesday following Trump’s acquittal earlier in the day. “So that is just totally wrong, and I would also argue that it’s very sexist that he thinks that I somehow got permission to vote for witnesses, a position I’ve taken from the very beginning.”
“In fact, neither of us asked for permission,” she added, referring to Romney.
Collins, who voted to acquit Trump in Wednesday’s vote, said she respected Romney, but “reached a different conclusion.” The Utah senator broke with the GOP and convicted the president of the abuse of power charge.
The Maine senator added that she “really” doesn’t think she will second-guess her decision, saying the Founders did not intend to take impeachment “lightly,” and the House did not make all necessary moves to obtain all relevant testimony.
The Senate acquitted the president after a months-long impeachment process. Senate Democrats had attempted to push for senators to support adding witnesses and documentation to the trial, but did not obtain enough votes last week.
The House impeached Trump on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December after former and current officials testified in hearings about the president’s alleged involvement in withholding military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate former vice president and 2020 political rival Joe Biden.