Wednesday evening was a busy time for the House Judiciary Committee, with heated debate unfolding among Republicans and Democrats as the next stage of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump nears.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) argued that it would be dangerous for Democrats to wait until Americans vote President Trump out of office in 2020.
“We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems when the President threatens the very integrity of that election,” Nadler said in his opening statement on Wednesday, Dec. 11. “Nor can we sit on our hands while the President undermines our national security—and while he allows his personal interests and the interests of our adversary Russia to advance.”
“This committee now owes it to the American people to give these articles careful attention,” Nadler added at the beginning of the markup for the impeachment articles, which included obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
Ranking Member Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) in a scathing statement on Wednesday blasted Democrats for trying to unseat the president since he took office.
Democrats think the only thing they need is a “32-second commercial saying we impeached him,” Collins said. “That’s the wrong reason to impeach somebody, and the American people are seeing through this,” Collins said. “But at the end of the day, my heart breaks for a committee that has trashed this institution.”
Collins on Tuesday’s “Hannity” then ripped House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)—one of the key Democrats behind the inquiry—for his dishonesty and misleading the American public as well as Congress.
“For a while, his lies only led himself down that path,” Collins told Fox host Sean Hannity. “We talked about him before—he can’t spell ‘truth,’ much less tell it. Today though, he’s crossing the line. He’s taking the Democratic Party over the cliff with his lies.”
“He cannot keep lying about this because the people are seeing through it, and now the Department of Justice is finally starting to see it,” Collins said.
Collins also denounced Democrats’ impeachment articles accusing President Trump of an “abuse of power” the “most ambiguous, vague reference to an impeachment [article] that you could ever have.”
“You can make it anything you want … As ‘former president’ Eric Swalwell said, you can be impeached for removing an ambassador,” Collins jested at Swalwell’s short-lived presidential bid. “I don’t know what planet he is living on but that is not an impeachable offense.”
Democrats have accused President Trump of abusing the power of his office in a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for military aid.
Over the span of more than two months, Democrats have changed their allegation of the president from engaging in a “quid pro quo”—to “bribery”—to abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The United States Constitution names impeachable offenses as “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
But neither of the two articles of impeachment released by Democrats mentioned a “bribery”—a long-embraced term Democrats used to accuse the president of his Ukraine dealings. It should be noted that an article concerning past allegations that President Trump “obstructed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into now-debunked criminal conspiracy between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia” was also notwithstanding, Breitbart reported on Dec. 10.
President Trump has repeatedly decried the Democrat-led impeachment process, calling it a “hoax” being used by Democratic lawmakers to undercut his chances of being re-elected in 2020.
“The impeachment thing is a hoax, it has turned out to be a hoax. It is done for purely political gain, they are going to see whether or not they can do something in 2020 because otherwise they are going to lose,” President Trump said when asked by reporters about impeachment during the NATO summit in London last week.