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Political Brew: Sen. Collins on SCOTUS; Eliot Cutler's arrest; and investigating Trump

Our analysts this week are former state senator and Yarmouth town councilor, Republican Phil Harriman, and longtime Democratic activist Betsy Sweet.

MAINE, USA — Sen. Susan Collins said she'll vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court, the first Republican senator to do so. She called the confirmation process broken and a danger to the country, saying it erodes public confidence in the court.

Betsy Sweet agrees with Collins on the problems in the process but wishes the senator would call out her colleagues on the Judiciary Committee who used the hearings as a "place to try out messages for the '22 and '24 election seasons. It had nothing to do with Judge Jackson."

"They become more interested in their partisan positions and their reelections than they are in what's good for America," Phil Harriman says.

Eliot Cutler, a man who came close to being elected governor as an Independent candidate in 2010, is facing child pornography charges.

Within hours of his arrest, the Maine Republican Party issued a statement demanding that politicians return any campaign contributions they received from Cutler.

Elected officials, including Gov. Janet Mills, Sen. Angus King, and Rep. Jared Golden, all said they have or will make contributions to charities instead of returning cash to Cutler.

Harriman feels that while Cutler has been an influential political figure, this shouldn't be a political issue.

"I have confidence that people who did receive contributions from Cutler would return them to a charity anyway," says Harriman. "The Republican Party didn't need to make hay out of it."

Sweet agrees, saying we should focus instead on how widespread the problems of sexual abuse and child pornography are. 

"I wish we didn't make political hay out of the stuff, which is a tragedy for the people involved," she says.

When a federal judge ruled in favor of the House January 6th committee's request to get more documents, he suggested former President Donald Trump may have committed a crime by trying to overturn the presidential election.

US District Court Judge David Carter wrote, "Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021."

Sweet thinks this is a big deal, saying, "When there's a federal judge who thinks that a president committed a serious crime, I think we have to keep going. I think the Attorney General's office should stay involved."

While it's not yet clear whether the Justice Department will investigate Trump personally, Harriman says, "It doesn't matter what party you are, this is about our country, our Constitution, the way our society has been built for over 225 years, and if he committed a crime, he should be prosecuted."

Our analysts also discuss a proposal to hike fees for state vehicle inspections, President Joe Biden's sagging approval ratings and his proposal for a new tax on billionaires, and what the state could do to help combat homelessness.

Political Brew airs Sundays on NEWS CENTER Maine's Weekend Morning Report.

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