Clockwise from left: Jared Golden, Chellie Pingree, Angus King and Susan Collins Credit: Composite photo / BDN

Only one member of Maine’s four-person congressional delegation on Monday embraced the U.S. House Jan. 6 committee’s referral of former President Donald Trump to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from Maine’s 1st Congressional District, endorsed the committee’s referral while U.S. Rep. Jared Golden said he was waiting to review the committee’s full report and U.S. Sen. Angus King said he wasn’t focused on Monday’s criminal referral.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, one of just seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump during the impeachment trial for his role in the insurrection, noted that, legally, the recommendation plays no role in a Justice Department decision to prosecute Trump.

“The Department of Justice, through the Special Counsel, will make its own prosecutorial decisions with regard to President Trump as part of its nearly two-year, ongoing investigation,” Collins said.

Calling the Jan. 6 committee among the most successful oversight committees in congressional history, Pingree said the evidence for Trump inciting and directing the mob that ransacked the Capitol in 2021 to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory was “overwhelming.”

“If we fail to hold Donald Trump accountable, the threats to America’s democracy will only grow,” Pingree said.


The referral and Pingree’s statement comes weeks after Trump launched a new bid for president. Pingree’s district is overwhelmingly Democratic, though it does contain hundreds of thousands of Mainers who supported Trump, including some bankrolling his new run for president.

All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation voted to impeach or convict Trump for his actions on Jan. 6, 2021.

Noting his impeachment vote, Golden, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, said he was waiting to review the committee’s full report when it is released later this week.

While he didn’t take a specific position on the criminal referral, he said those responsible for the Capitol attack needed to be held accountable.

“It is now up to the Justice Department to determine how to proceed with the referral,” Golden said.

Golden has run and won three races as a Democrat in a congressional district that’s twice voted for Trump. While he has acknowledged that some of his voters also support Trump, he has also been willing to criticize the former president, including for having classified documents in his Florida residence.

A spokesperson for King, an independent who caucuses with Senate Democrats, said the senator’s staff wasn’t focused on the referral, saying they were working on keeping the government funded as well as on the Electoral Count Reform Act, which tightens procedures for counting electoral votes.

“We aren’t studying A1 of the [New York Times] or the 1/6 Committee’s activity at this moment, ” spokesperson Matthew Felling said.

Though Collins declined to endorse the criminal referral, she has continued to be critical of the former president and his conduct during the insurrection. She said last month that Trump’s 2024 presidential bid wasn’t good for the country, also arguing that former Vice President Mike Pence may be a presidential contender due to the “integrity” he had shown in refusing Trump’s demand to overturn Biden’s win.