Collins: Democrats Rushed Impeachment Because 'The Clock Was Running Out' | NBC News

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/17/2019 07:05 PM

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga. claimed in his opening statement that Democrats were rushing through impeachment and wanted to finish before the 2020 election because "the clock was running out." » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video:

You know the chairman made a statement about my friend here mr. raskin, and he is a fine attorney and - and it's been amazing to me throughout this year, how the judiciary committee his sideline, fine attorneys like himself into not asking questions and to not being a part Of the process, it's been really interesting to watch because he's actually a good one and, as you said, he's a good constitut ...
onal attorney. I'M not a constitutional attorney, i'm a pastor and an attorney from north georgia, but i believe that you take another to look at this and you can apply constitutional lenses. We all set through those classes, but it's a common sense lens. It'S a common senselens. Mr. cole made a question, a comment, the when he and his opening statements he says you said mr. cole has said it doesn't make sense yeah it does. It makes perfect sense. Look at the pattern. You know the only thing that is, that is a clear and present danger right now in this room. Is the pattern of attack and abuse of rules and and decisions to get at this president? They started over three years ago, really the night he was elected and - and i said the other day and the committee hearing i thought about you - know that having the means in the motive and the opportunity, the opportunity for this day occurred last novemberwhen, we lost majority.

It occurred because they'd already talked about it for three years in prior, and so now we just bring it forward and we've tried a lot of different things to get there and we'll talk about that. I'M sure is this. The time goes on today and look. We can have plenty of time to talk about the the articles and and the very vague articles that we did. It'S pretty interesting if you read the report from the majority, there's a lot of discussion about crimes, but they couldn't find it in themselves a charged one again common sense articles and we think about impeachment you're thinking about impeaching a president in particular for crimesyou're thinking about. Oh you're sitting it down it was it was in. This majority has tried so hard to be like clinton and nixon and failed so miserably, but every time we try, we try once again except the one thing when it came down to the very end. The one thing they couldn't do is actually find a crime. They talk about it, a bunch. If you read their read the majority's report, it is well written. It is some of the work you'll see frankly in some ways of fictional accounts, of what this actually is. But it actually talks about that.

The problem here is a majority bent on finding something for this. President mystical it'snot a surprise. In fact, it's a sad day for none for the rules committee before the judiciary committee. You know it's telling that the oracles impeachment to show you how partisan is it and really this concerning part that i see and mr. mcgovern is a friend and we disagree in you, your exact role. We disagree probably own a lot of things. Is this glass half-full everything and that's fine, that's what we're supposed to do. That'S what our voters send us here for, but to find a ways to actually work. Well, we have work together. The question i have here, though, is if this was as your as the speaker said: just supposed to be overwhelmingbipartisan and in the under american people understand it, then why are we in the rules committee today when it was with clinton? It was a you see straight to the floor. It wasn't cad, didn't have to come to the rules committee, because both sides could see there was something needed to be discussed and that's not true here and so we're having to bring it up here to the rules committee, a place that i have spent many hours And many of us on this group have discussed many things, but this is should not be one of them. You know it's interesting and i hear a lot today and i've heard already from mr.

raskin and fromthe from the chairman as well discussion of the founders and it's interesting. We cherry-pick the founders and that's okay, that's what you know: partisans do when you're in a partisan impeachment you cherry-pick the founders. If you like this partisan work, you yeah, if you like the other partisan, but the one that's not mentioned, is the very thing that we're here for and that was found. I believe it was in federalist. I think it's 6500 is hamilton when he said this. He said the founders ward warned against the vague open-ended charge because it could be applied on a partisan fashion by the majority of the house, representatives against anna pappas ition president alexander hamilton, called partisanimpeachment regulated by more or the comparative strength of parties. Then the real demonstration of innocence or guilt, the greatest danger, and additionally, the founders explicitly excluded the term maladministration from the impeachment clause because they did not want the subject. President presidents, to the whims of congress, they're worse james madison, said so vega term will be the equivalent to a tenure during the play during the pleasure of the senate, and, i would say, it'd be a tenure to the pleasure of this house when we understand. What'S going on here when we look at the discussions here, there are many things that i want to talk about, but the first i want to do is when wetalk about how we get to a certain place. Proper process leads to proper results and we've not had any of that in this process. I'Ve always said - and i've said it many times in our discussions lately - is that this is all about a clock in a calendar and has been for a while since january, when we were sworn in, it's not a clock in a calendar. Why do i say that? Because we had to get to it by the end of the year because we went into the next year.

It would be really too close, especially from the houses perspectives to the elections that they're trying to interfere with and yes they're trying to interferewith elections. The 2020 election by actually beginning this process and been going forward now the conduct is not conducted, the perspex, the american people, the clock in the calendar, no, no masters except themselves. You see our committee held its first hearing on december 4th literally the day after shift publicly released his report in the first minutes of the hearing, mr. sensenbrenner furnished the chairman, with our demand for minority day of hearings, the chairman also set a deadline of december 6 For republicans and the president to request additional witnesses, but it wasn't until saturday, the day after the deadline, the chairmanship transmitted, 8,000 pages of material to the judiciary committee, and we still haven't gotten everythingnot that it matters to the majority for institutionalist. This should bother you. You can you can still go ahead and vote fear yes, tomorrow and vote for yesterday and do that, but it shouldn't matter for this institution that while i was in georgia, i received a call from my staff saying: they've just released eight thousand documents some drives. Some of which were going to be kept in a secure holding, and when i asked the chairman about these documents, were they gon na be used? He said: well, we're not gon na read them either. We'Re not gon na have a chance to go through them. We'Re just gon na go ahead with what we're doing that was from my chairmanwho. I respect greatly. We'Ve done a lot of things together, but it has been very difficult when, in a hearing of this magnitude, how can any one report or democrat actually go back and look at their constituents in the face and say we looked at all the evidence. I looked at everything and i came to this conclusion.

No, we cherry-pick the evidence and we only use what we only do, because that material which, by the way is still not all been released. There'S the inspector general ig report, there's still transplant has not been released and whether it's good or bad is irrelevant. But when you're talking about impeaching a president shouldn't the underlying evidence, sentto judiciary committee, actually matter again, it doesn't take constitutional experts coming in and telling us about it. It takes common sense to know that you don't impeach somebody without at least making all the evidence proper. But you know that's what happens when you're to the tyranny of a clock and a calendar when you're the tyranny of a clock in a calendar and nothing else, matters. It'S like what's going to happen here in the holidays. Is you getting close to that day and you're supposed to give that gift? Nothing else matters you just got to go, get in it's the last minute. If you don't have anything mr. ace i'll bet, you've done this, you goout and you just behind the first thing. You get, and this is what was happening. The clock was running out, so they found a phone call, they didn't like they didn't like this administration. They didn't like what the president did.

They tried to make up claims of it. There was pressure and all these other things that they've so outlined in the report, but at the end of the day, it's simply last-minute christmas shopping. They ran and found something they said. We can do it, but no crimes, none in their articles, abuse of power in which any member can make up anything they want to in caller an abuse of power, but in the report theydocument, proper and extortion, and all these other things which they can't put into The articles and then the obstruction of justice again is sort of interesting when i just read chairmanship transferred on a saturday 8,000 pages of what we're supposed to be working out for the next hearing. We submitted our list of witnesses to nadler the day before and before the shift sent us had, we submitted it before schiff had sent us any more evidence. Last monday, we had a hearing, so shift staff and adler's consultants could tell us that the president needs to be impeached again, nothing from chairman schiff, who had made the reference to himself being like ken starr, but for thosein. This room, who have at least opened a history book ken starr, actually came and testified and took questions from everyone, including the white house counsel. On monday, the chairman rejected our all of our witnesses out of hand and on tuesday the morning after the presentation of articles were unveiled. Remember, think about this no factual based witnesses. We had a bunch of law professors, one for us by the way i did ask for another, one didn't get it no reasoning, we just went back and we were in impeachment hearings and we went back to the normal 3:1 ratio. I asked for one more and basically didn't get it. It was an interesting conversation between thechairman huh didn't get.

Then we came in and got our witness list summarily dismissed. We get information dumped to us in the middle of what we're supposed to doing right before we're. Having to have hearings before we had to after the fact we had to turn on our witness list judge, i don't think this would fly in any regular, normal court proceeding because i know this is not so before anybody wants to tweet or say anything we're not In a court, i know that we're in a kangaroo court it feels like in this place, because all of this is backwards. What'S up is down and down is up we're more alice in wonderland than withour house of representatives, because whether you agree that he needs to be impeached or not, do you not think there needs to be a modicum of process and rights? All of this is true. The rules completely aside the minority healing day broken access to committee records rule broken. Do you process rights for the accused in impeachment completely out thrown into rules for the corman debate? Well, we've seen that broken. Even on the house floor, h. res, sick, cyst, you, the authorization for this whole thing. The chairman could have used it to run a fair process. Unfortunately, we didn't the problem comes down today. Is there several things that i'm only viewed with mr. chairman and thisis it? After all, it has been said all that's been talked about in all of his win, that wonderfully written report there's four facts: it'll, never change both the president.

Mr. szalinski say there was no pressure. The call transcript shows no conditionality in aid and an investigation by the way mr. sanyal and their key witness. The only thing they ever quote is his opening statement. They don't like to quote when he actually was questioned when he said well yeah i presumed that and then we've talked about mr. yarmuth. Mr. yarmuth said we didn't have any conversation about conditionality of aid. That was just come out just the other day. I'M not sure where we're gettingthis, but it's definitely wasn't a call transcript. Ukrainians were not aware.

The aid was withheld even when, when the president spoke and ukraine's did not open investigations didn't get a meeting and still got their aid. But what did we see last week and over the past two weeks we saw mr. szalinski president zelanski pillared in our committee, he's either a liar a pathological liar according to the majority or he is so weak. He shouldn't be governing that country, that's tragic. We actually did that to this sitting, leader a world leader in our committee. These are the kind of things that bother many of us, but also, i know this is also on a clock. Ina calendar we'll have a few hours here, we'll talk about it, but i will remind my majority friends and i do consider you friends. The clock in the calendar are terrible masters and they lead to awful results. And yes, there will be a day of reckoning. The calendar in the clock will continue, but what you do here and how we have trashed the process and getting here will live on and it will affect everything that we've come for and so whatever you may gain will be short-lived because the clock in the calendar Also recognize common sense, which is not been used in this proceeding with that. Mr. chairman, i yield back hey nbc newsviewers, thanks for checking out our youtube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch.

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