Collins accusing Democrats of 'tearing down a world leader'

Collins accusing Democrats of 'tearing down a world leader'
© Greg Nash

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.) accused House Democrats Wednesday of “tearing down a world leader” by contradicting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s denial that he had felt pressured by President TrumpDonald John TrumpHealth insurers Cigna, Humana waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment Puerto Rico needs more federal help to combat COVID-19 Fauci says April 30 extension is 'a wise and prudent decision' MORE.

Collins, in his opening statement during the House Judiciary Committee's markup of articles of impeachment, said panel Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Pelosi rejects calls to shutter Capitol: 'We are the captains of this ship' MORE’s (D-N.Y.) opening statement was “one of the most amazing takedowns” of Zelensky that “I have ever seen.”

“When they can’t make their argument that the president pressured Mr. Zelensky, they then attack Mr. Zelensky and then say he was pressured when Mr. Zelensky on numerous occasions has said, 'I have not been pressured,' ” Collins said.

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He added that by continuing with the articles of impeachment, the Democrats are accusing Zelensky of being “a liar.”

“The majority is saying Mr. Zelensky is a liar, and we in this body — the Democrats are tearing down a world leader in the eyes of those that don’t like him and his own country and Russia who is attacking him,” the Georgia representative said.

Zelensky has denied that he felt pressured during the July 25 phone call when Trump asked Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCoronavirus makes the campaign season treacherous for Joe Biden Biden tops Trump by 9 points in Fox News poll Unions urge Chamber of Commerce to stop lobbying against Defense Production Act MORE, days after withholding military aid from the country.

A whistleblower report on the phone call sparked the impeachment inquiry in the House, which has continued since September. The Democrats brought articles of impeachment forward Tuesday, and a Judiciary Committee vote is planned for Thursday. A full vote in front of the House could come as early as next week.