GOP lawmaker closes: Impeachment a 'scam,' Judiciary a 'rubber stamp'

GOP lawmaker closes: Impeachment a 'scam,' Judiciary a 'rubber stamp'
© Greg Nash

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee closed his remarks on Monday be calling his Democratic-run panel a “rubber stamp” for impeachment, harshly criticizing Democrats for what he described as a “partisan” inquiry.

Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary Overnight Energy: House stimulus aims to stem airline pollution | Environmental measures become sticking point in Senate talks | Progressives propose T 'green stimulus' House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress MORE (R-Ga.) who repeatedly criticized Democrats during the nearly 10-hour hearing, also called the inquiry a "scam" and noted that by the end of Monday's hearing, the audience was headed for the exits. 

“If you look around the room, this is what is happening to the American people, by the end of the day most in the back left, most of the members of the media are begging to go somewhere else, because at the end of the day your case isn’t made,” Collins said of Democrats.

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Collins said the impeachment of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE differs from past impeachments because the facts are not agree to. 

“These are disputed facts, it will be the first impeachment that is partisan on facts that are not agreed to, that is the state in which the Judiciary has become, we have become a rubber stamp...when we willingly accept from someone else a project or a report that we don’t investigate ourselves,” Collins said, referring to the impeachment investigation report from the House Intelligence Committee. 

Democrats have sought to make the case that President Trump abused the power of his office for political gain by seeking to pressure Ukraine's government to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFighting a virus with the wrong tools Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing MORE, a 2020 presidential candidate.

They also say security aid to Ukraine was delayed as a part of that effort.

Republicans argue the aid was eventually delivered, and that there is no evidence of a "quid pro quo" that Ukraine investigate Biden for that country's leader to get a meeting with Trump, or to get security aide. 

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Some witnesses, however, have drawn links between Trump's desire for an investigation of Biden and both aid to Ukraine and a meeting between Trump and that country's president. 

The House may vote on Trump's impeachment before the end of next week.

In discussing potential future Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings, Collins took time to thank GOP counsel Stephen Castor and Ashley Callen for their work on the impeachment investigation, saying that he wanted to do this now since Democrats did not seem likely to schedule a minority day of hearings, something repeatedly requested by Republicans.