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 CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules This week: Raucous rules fight, opening arguments in impeachment trial White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team 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 TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE.

Collins, in his opening statement during the House Judiciary Committee's markup of articles of impeachment, said panel Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerNadler gets under GOP's skin Restlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on Republicans take aim at Nadler for saying GOP senators complicit in 'cover-up' 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 BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden 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.