The office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has made public two threatening messages it received – one a letter, the other a voicemail. The office released them after the senator called Capitol Police to report acitvity outside her D.C. home and reported that someone had written messages in chalk outside her Bangor home supporting abortion rights. The two D.C. threats appear unrelated to the issue of abortion.
The voicemail appeared to threaten Collins over her vote for President Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
“There’s no way in hell I’m going to leave any information at all but if you vote for that (expletive) Black (expletive) I’ll kill you,” an adult male said in the voicemail Collins’ office provided to Spectrum News.
Asked about threats, Collins’ office said in a statement, “Because Senator Collins periodically gets threatening letters and phone calls, we have been advised by Capitol Police to notify the local police department when there is activity directed at her around her home.”
The letter released by Collins’ office did not mention any specific votes or topics beyond a vague reference to Israel.
“Behold The Word of the LORD. The angel of death is about to visit your house, for you have given yourself to the opposite side, just like so many others for money and power. You will pay a high price for your treasonous acts against this nation…All of you will pay for the damage you have caused MY nation, the United States of America, and Israel. You are a traitor, Susan, and you will reap what you have sown in this hour of judgement, saith the LORD OF HOSTS,” the anonymous letter stated.
Supporters of abortion rights have focused on Collins since a draft opinion by the Supreme Court to overturn abortion rights was leaked last week. They are upset with the Republican because she supports abortion rights but voted to confirm three of the justices who backed the draft opinion, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, after they were nominated by then President Donald Trump.
One of the chalk messages written outside Collins’ Bangor home said, “Mainers want WHPA -→ vote yes, clean up your mess.” It was a reference to the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill backed by Democrats to enshrine the right to an abortion in federal law. In a test vote Wednesday, the legislation failed to get the 60 votes it would need for passage. Collins opposes the legislation, saying she favors a more modest measure to protect abortion rights..
“I support codifying the abortion rights established by Roe v. Wade and affirmed by Planned Parenthood v. Casey. That’s not what the Women’s Health Protection Act would do,” Collins said in a statement.
“We introduced legislation in February that would enshrine the important Roe and Casey protections into law without undercutting statutes that have been in place for decades and without eliminating basic conscience protections that are relied upon by health care providers who have religious objections to performing abortions….After today’s vote fails, I plan to continue working with my colleagues on legislation to maintain – not expand or restrict – the current legal framework for abortion rights in this country.”
Another Maine lawmaker in Congress, Rep. Chellie Pingree, said she has seen an overwhelming amount of support in her district for preserving Roe v. Wade. The Democrat says that more than 1,300 respondents have shared their stories and thoughts on abortion rights with her office. Pingree represents a region of Maine that has voted in favor of the Democratic presidential candidate since 1992.
“Since Saturday, my office has been flooded with messages from Mainers who want Congress to pass legislation to protect Roe v. Wade now. I was deeply moved that so many of my constituents shared stories about their own abortions, complicated pregnancies and miscarriages. Their stories are no one’s business, but they felt compelled to speak up because abortion is health care, not a political football,” Pingree said.
Spectrum News asked Capitol Police officials if they could provide more information on the recent threats to Sen. Collins in Washington, but was told, “We cannot discuss what we do when it comes to member safety.”
Threats against members of Congress have been on the rise in recent years. According to the Capitol Police, threats of violence against members of Congress hit a record high in 2021. Their records show that there were roughly 9,600 threats against U.S lawmakers last year, about twice the number recorded in 2020. While threatening a government official is a felony under federal law, Capitol Police also say that not all threats lead to arrests or prosecutions.