U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said Sunday the Senate Intelligence Committee needs to hear from President Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as soon as possible so he can answer questions to which he gave untruthful responses the last time he testified before Congress.

Appearing on the CBS News program “Face the Nation,” Collins discussed her committee’s issuance of a subpoena last week to make Cohen address false statements he made about the Trump Organization’s proposed Moscow project.

Cohen pleaded guilty Nov. 29 in New York to lying to Congress about the Moscow real estate project that Trump and his company pursued at the same time he was securing the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, The Washington Post reported. Cohen said he knowingly gave false answers in 2017 to the Senate and House intelligence committees.

Last week, Cohen canceled his scheduled Feb. 7 appearance before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, citing verbal attacks by Trump.

Collins, a Republican, also commented Sunday on the partial government shutdown that ended Friday and the indictment of Trump’s friend Roger Stone – by a federal grand jury empaneled by special counsel Robert Mueller – on charges of lying, obstruction and witness tampering over hacked Democratic Party emails.

“Well, I really don’t think we can draw conclusions until the special counsel has finished his work,” Collins said. “But what this indictment and many others have shown us is the importance of the special counsel being allowed to conclude its investigation unimpeded.”

Collins said there is a disturbing pattern of lying to Congress evident in the indictments obtained by the special counsel.

Sen. Susan Collins

“And no one should be allowed to do that with impunity,” she said. “So I’m very pleased that the special counsel is pursuing indictments where he believes individuals have lied to Congress.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee has been involved in its own probe of interference by Russians in the 2016 presidential election. Collins said it is important that the committee now hear from Cohen.

“We need to hear from him as soon as possible to answer all of the questions he answered previously because we now know he was not truthful,” she said.

Asked if the 35-day government shutdown, which financial rating agency Standard & Poor’s estimated to have cost the U.S. economy $6 billion, was worth it, Collins repeated her earlier comments about shutdowns.

“Shutdowns are never good policy, ever,” she said. “They should never be used as a means to achieve any kind of goal no matter how important that goal may seem to be.”

Collins said the best-case scenario under the new three-week deadline to come up with a border security deal would be to fund the government through the current federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

“We cannot have a shutdown hanging over our people,” she said. “We will be working very hard in these 21 days to prevent us from being back in the same situation.”

Michael Cohen

Collins said the deal will likely include a combination of physical barriers and more technology, Border Patrol personnel and immigration judges.

She also commented on revelations last week by U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, that she had been a victim of rape in college and spousal abuse in her marriage.

“She is a strong and remarkable woman and what she has endured has been just horrible,” Collins said.

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: bquimby

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.