House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has an important role in the impeachment of President Donald Trump — but the Democrat is out to lunch, according to his Republican counterpart.
“Judiciary has jurisdiction over articles of impeachment, but does the chairman even know what’s going on?” Collins tweeted.
This week, Chairman Nadler told me to provide him with my witness list.
But Pelosi’s press conference seemed to indicate we’re moving straight to articles of impeachment.
Judiciary has jurisdiction over articles of impeachment, but does the chairman even know what’s going on?
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) December 5, 2019
Nadler had asked Doug Collins (R-GA), ranking member on the committee, in a Friday, November 29 letter to provide any witness requests by Friday, December 6, but now the Judiciary Committee is moving full speed ahead with impeachment articles, The Hill reported.
Collins sent Nadler a letter Thursday demanding a chance for Republicans to tell their side of the story, but he’s not likely to get his wish — Pelosi gave Nadler the directive to draft impeachment articles ASAP on Thursday, just one day after Nadler’s first hearing.
There was some uncertainty whether Democrats would follow through after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) public hearings wrapped up before Thanksgiving without shoring up bi-partisan support. Pelosi said as recently as Tuesday that she would wait for Nadler’s hearings to get underway before making a decision.
Nadler’s first hearing Wednesday was billed as a calm, serious discussion about the Constitution and impeachment, but what ensued was a bizarre spectacle as three liberal “experts” vented partisan frustrations with Trump, invoked his son Barron, and urged lawmakers still defending Trump to think about having to answer to James Madison in the afterlife.
A single Republican-called witness — law professor Jonathan Turley, who isn’t even a Trump supporter — was the only one to argue that Trump’s actions towards Ukraine were not impeachable, and he urged his fellow Democrats not to rush the process.
Republicans attacked the witnesses as partisan hacks, and not even Nadler was feeling inspired, as the chairman appeared to doze off at one point. Apparently already convinced by the professors’ opinions, Pelosi announced Thursday morning that the facts were “uncontested” that Trump abused his power, leaving Democrats “no choice” but to impeach him.
Collins demands hearing for Republicans
Collins sent a letter Thursday to Nadler demanding an opportunity for Republicans to hold a “minority hearing” before Democrats draw up impeachment articles, Fox reported. The letter asserts that “Minority Members ‘shall be entitled to … call witnesses selected by the minority to testify with respect to that measure or matter during at least one day of hearing thereon.'”
“The requested minority hearing day must take place before articles of impeachment are considered by the Committee,” the letter said.
Collins has threatened to have Schiff testify about the “whistleblower,” but Republicans have little power to protest as the Democrats speed through the process. That could change when they take over in the Senate, where Trump’s acquittal is seen as almost certain.
It’s possible that Pelosi felt it was too late for Democrats to back out — and with public support having peaked, there is an incentive to put impeachment on a fast track and get it over with. Democrats could draft articles of impeachment this month, after at least one additional hearing Monday to present “evidence,” Fox reported. But it’s likely a formality, as they appear to have made up their minds already. With no regard for evidence or the damage of a divisive impeachment, Democrats are charging full speed ahead.