Sen. Susan Collins has won a tough re-election fight against a well-funded Democratic opponent, according to the Associated Press.
Collins’ Democratic challenger Sara Gideon, the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, conceded the race on Wednesday in front of a crowd of supporters. In the lead-up to Election Day, Gideon was the favorite to win the race, with FiveThirtyEight estimating that she would claim victory.
Significantly, Collins was the sole GOP Senator up for re-election who did not receive an endorsement from President Donald Trump. Generally agreed to be the most moderate GOP Senator, she has made a name for herself for breaking with the rest of her caucus and the president more often than her colleagues. This has put her on the receiving end of criticism from more conservative Republicans.
Despite being somewhat of a centrist, Democrats don’t like her either. After deciding to vote with the rest of the Senate Republicans in controversially confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, Democrats all across the country started to raise millions of dollars in funds to unseat Collins in 2020, making this campaign the toughest that she ever faced.
Collins squeaked past Gideon and the other two candidates on the ballot, managing to win just over a majority of votes. This was the first election in which Maine used its recently adopted ranked-choice voting system to vote for candidates for president and the U.S. Senate. Because Collins was able to get over 50% of people’s first-choice votes, no instant runoffs occurred.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Videotapes from Jan. 6 Committee Witness Interviews Vanish
Videotapes containing witness interviews conducted by the Democrat-led January 6 congressional committee have disappeared. The chairman of the House Administration oversight subcommittee, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), expressed his apprehension on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show.
According to Loudermilk, all videotapes of depositions have vanished, raising questions about the preservation of crucial evidence. He argued that, under House rules, these tapes qualified as congressional evidence, especially since some clips were aired during hearings. Loudermilk contended that the tapes should have been preserved by the now-defunct Jan. 6 committee and its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
Loudermilk’s revelation has broader implications, potentially impacting criminal trials in both state court in Georgia and federal court in Washington, where individuals, including former President Donald Trump, face charges related to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Notably, Trump’s legal team had recently requested evidence from the Jan. 6 committee but was denied by a judge.
The situation takes a further twist as Loudermilk disclosed that the J6 committee had sent certain evidence, such as transcripts, to the Biden White House and the Homeland Security Department. Shockingly, these transcripts have now been returned to Loudermilk’s GOP-led subcommittee almost entirely redacted, preventing the disclosure of their contents.
The lack of records regarding witnesses, their statements, and the extensive redactions have raised concerns among House Republicans. Loudermilk emphasized that these documents belong to the House and should not have been sent in such a heavily redacted form. The chairman questioned the motives behind the redactions, asking why a Democrat-run House was allowed to have unredacted documents while a Republican committee’s efforts were obstructed. This development adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing investigations into the events surrounding January 6, 2021.
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