On Thursday, a watchdog group announced it would send a letter to the Justice Department requesting an investigation into groups allegedly attempting to bribe Maine Sen. Susan Collins into voting against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
Kendra Arnold, executive director of The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), stated of the online crowdfunding campaign targeting Collins that has reputedly raised over $1.2 million, "I think this is one of those things where it's very obvious that outside influence is being used in an attempt to corrupt a member of Congress. We expect them to act on merit and it's pretty clear no matter where you lean politically that this is absolutely an act of bribery and corruption."
As USA Today, which obtained a copy of the four-page letter from FACT, noted, Collins “has reported receiving threatening calls and letters as well as more than 3,000 wire coat hangers” from those who believe Kavanaugh would vote to repeal Roe v. Wade.
Newsmax reported of the crowdfunding campaign:
A left-leaning activist organization, Mainers for Accountable Leadership (MFAL), is teaming up with an organization called the Maine People’s Alliance, to crowdsource a fundraising campaign targeting Collins in her 2020 re-election if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh. But the fundraising has a catch. “Donors” are asked to pledge a donation against Collins, money that will only be charged to their credit card if she makes a yes vote for President Trump’s nominee.
Collins agrees that the crowdfunding campaign is attempting to bribe her. She told Newsmax: “I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh. If I vote against him, the money is refunded to the donors. If I vote for him, the money is given to my opponent for the 2020 race.” She added, “This effort will not influence my vote at all … I think it demonstrates the new lows to which the judge’s opponents have stooped.”
Collins told The Wall Street Journal, “I have had three attorneys tell me that they think it is a clear violation of the federal law on bribery. Actually, two told me that; one told me it’s extortion.” She added, “It’s offensive. It’s of questionable legality. And it is extraordinary to me that people would want to participate in trying to essentially buy a Senator’s vote.”