Maine’s US Senators have a key role in the investigation of the Trump campaign’s contacts with and ties to Russia. They both sit on the senate intelligence committee, possibly the only viable probe remaining that might get to the bottom of this issue, and they’ve generally provided a common front in arguing that it can and will proceed in a professional and bipartisan manner.
But last night’s explosive development — Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, who was overseeing that agency’s own probe of the issue — appears to have shattered that unity.
As I reported last night and in today’s print edition of the Portland Press Herald, the two are taking very different stances on what may be the most explosive development in US politics since President Nixon fired Archibald Cox during the Watergate investigation. Collins — like Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME2) is ok with the firing — while King (like Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME1) — is sounding the alarms.
Actually, King went a step further this morning, suggesting the senate committee should hire Comey to head their probe. I have the story on that up at the Press Herald now as well.
[Update, 5/11/17: In the last story, Susan Collins is now the lead because she’s said she’s considering supporting having the current deputy AG appoint a special counsel for the investigation, a move King described earlier in the day as not helpful in restoring public confidence.]