Judiciary Republican calls for panel to expand list of impeachment witnesses

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are calling for the panel to expand its list of witnesses ahead of the Dec. 4 hearing it will hold in the House’s impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE.

Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Parties clash as impeachment articles move closer to House vote House passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers MORE (R-Ga.), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers Collins accusing Democrats of 'tearing down a world leader' GOP calls for minority hearing on impeachment, threatens procedural measures MORE (D-N.Y.) demanding that he expand the panel beyond the four constitutional law scholars from whom the committee plans to hear. 

“To ensure fairness and restore integrity to the ongoing impeachment process, I request an expanded panel and a balanced composition of academic witnesses to opine on the subject matter at issue during the hearing,” he wrote.

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"On December 4, the Committee will hear from only four academic witnesses during its consideration of the question of impeachment. This is less than a quarter of those called to testify during the Clinton impeachment," he continued. "In light of this, I request that you expand the number of witnesses called upon to testify on December 4 to give the American people a wider array of perspectives regarding impeachment."

The letter did not clarify which witnesses the Republicans would seek to call.

Staff for the Democrats on the committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Nadler wrote to Collins on Friday asking if he would like to issue any subpoenas or interrogatories relating to the matter. He also gave the ranking member until Dec. 6 to notify him.

“I am prepared to schedule a meeting of the Committee on Monday, December 9, 2019 to consider any such referrals,” Nadler wrote to Collins.

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A Republican Judiciary aide told The Hill in an email that Nadler has not responded to four recent letters from Republicans with concerns about the impeachment probe.

The Dec. 4 hearing is set to take place after the Intelligence Committee sends the Judiciary Committee a memo with its findings from seven public impeachment hearings and a series of additional closed-door depositions regarding Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. It will be the first time the Judiciary panel examines the Intelligence panel’s evidence from the investigation, which was launched in late September. 

The Judiciary Committee will ultimately decide whether to the evidence gathered during the probe warrants drafting articles of impeachment that will be voted on by the entire House.