The Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) on Sunday, Dec. 1, said that he would have House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) testify as a witness if his committee is to oversee any sort of impeachment move against President Donald Trump.
“My first and foremost witness is Adam Schiff,” Collins told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” pointing out that if Schiff avoids testifying, it will undermine his credibility and what he has done so far in the impeachment inquiry.
“If he chooses not to, then I really question his veracity and what he’s putting in his report. I question the motive of why he’s doing it,” Collins said.
Collins’s statement comes at a time when Schiff is working to put together a report that details his committee’s findings after closed-door depositions and public hearings where current and former Trump administration officials are familiar with the administration’s policies on its relationship with Ukraine, Fox News reports.
Democrats are investigating whether President Trump engaged in a quid pro quo—now bribery—in his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for military aid.
But both presidents firmly denied any wrongdoing, where President Trump called the phone call “perfect” and Zelenskiy pointed out that there was “no blackmail.”
Collins has specifically stated that he wants Schiff to discuss what he and his staff knew about the whistleblower’s complaint about the president’s July 25 call, as well as Schiff’s own interactions with Ukraine.
“[Schiff] has put himself into that position,” Collins told Wallace, adding that he would “really have to question his veracity in what he’s putting in his report” if he chooses not to testify.
“It’s easy to hide behind a report,” Collins said. “But it’s going to be another thing to actually get up and have to answer questions.”
Collins also speculated that Schiff may have kept inquiry-relevant documents stashed away from GOP lawmakers.
“Why are they hiding the stuff from us?” Collins asked on the show. “If they think they have such a case, give us all the materials and don’t let Jerry Nadler write a crazy letter that says on the sixth, let us know who your witnesses are. We don’t even have the information from the Intel committee yet. This is why this is a problematic exercise and simply a made-for-TV event coming on Wednesday.”
“This is a complete American waste of time right here,” Collins said to the Fox host. “Chris, he did nothing improper.”
“Why don’t we at least have more witnesses?” Collins asked.
Collins sent Nadler a letter last week requesting additional witnesses besides the four academics, noting precedent for a “robust slate” of witnesses and suggested that both parties be given the right to choose their own witnesses.
“For example, during the impeachment inquiry of President William J. Clinton, the committee assembled two panels of ten and nine academics, respectively, to help the committee grapple with impeachment,” the letter wrote.