Trump gives shoutout to Doug Collins ahead of next phase of impeachment hearings

Trump gives shoutout to Doug Collins ahead of next phase of impeachment hearings
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE on Monday praised Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsVulnerable GOP incumbents embrace filling Supreme Court seat this year Georgia GOP Senate candidates cite abortion in pushing Ginsburg replacement Win by QAnon believer creates new headaches for House GOP MORE (Ga.), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and the president's preferred potential replacement for outgoing Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonGeorgia GOP Senate candidates cite abortion in pushing Ginsburg replacement Loeffler: Trump 'has every right' to fill Ginsburg vacancy before election Bottom line MORE (R-Ga.), as the House moves into its third phase of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

"Great job by @RepDougCollins of Georgia over the weekend in representing the Republican Party, and myself, against the Impeachment Hoax!" Trump tweeted on Monday.

Collins forcefully defended the president and blasted Democrats’ handling of the impeachment process during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend. The Georgia Republican called for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTop Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence Overnight Defense: Top admiral says 'no condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' | Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Overnight Defense: House to vote on military justice bill spurred by Vanessa Guillén death | Biden courts veterans after Trump's military controversies MORE (D-Calif.) — who has been at the forefront of impeachment efforts since the formal inquiry was launched — to testify before the Judiciary Committee, noting he will almost definitely be on the list of the GOP’s requested witnesses. His comments come just ahead of the Intelligence Committee's expected release of a report on its findings throughout the probe, which is expected to be sent to the Judiciary Committee ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.

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“I question his, you know, the motives of why he's doing it. It's easy to hide behind a report,” he told host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceThe Memo: Media accused of using kid-gloves on Biden Biden town hall draws 3.3 million viewers for CNN Gates says travel ban made COVID-19 worse in US MORE.

“It's easy to hide behind a gavel and Intelligence Committee behind-closed-door hearings, but it's going to be another thing to actually get up and have to answer questions about what his staff knew," Collins said, "how he knew, what he did about the whistleblower report, his interactions that he's had with Ukraine, the other things that he's had over time in this process and also why he has still not released documents to our committee and reports to our committee that we need to actually proceed in our committee of Judiciary Committee, which is the committee of impeachment. I have a question. Why are they hiding this stuff from us?”

Trump’s compliment also comes shortly before Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is expected to announce who will be appointed to replace Isakson, who is slated to vacate his seat at the end of the year after enduring a series of health complications.

Recent reports indicate Kemp will select business executive Kelly Loeffler, putting Kemp at odds with the president. 

Kemp recently attended a tense meeting at the White House where the president advocated for Collins — one of his most vocal supporters in the lower chamber — to obtain the position, The Wall Street Journal first reported.

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Collins is seen by some as a potential key ally in voting against impeachment if it moves to the upper chamber if he’s appointed to replace the outgoing senator.

Kemp recently asserted in a tweet that any potential appointee to fill Isakson’s seat will align with Trump on key policy areas.

Collins has also not ruled out the possibility of running for the upper chamber if he is not appointed to the role.