House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) said Wednesday he believes Democrats have sent the impeachment inquiry over to the Judiciary Committee to protect the Intelligence Committee in case it backfires on the Democrats.
“This impeachment is not really about facts. If it was, I believe the other committees would have sent over recommendations for impeachment,” Collins said during the committee’s first hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry.
“No, they’re putting it on this committee because if it goes badly I guess they [don’t] want to blame Adam Schiff’s committee, and [the Intelligence Committee] and others want to blame this committee for it going bad.”
Polls show dropping public support for impeachment, particularly among independents. Democrats have said they want to wait until the inquiry is completed to make a decision on whether to support impeachment.
However, Collins added, “they’re already drafting articles, don’t be even fooled.”
The Judiciary Committee is handling the back end of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, after the House Intelligence, Oversight and Government Reform, and Foreign Affairs Committees completed the initial phase. On Tuesday, Democrats on the three committees sent the Judiciary Committee their final report of conclusions. The Republicans also sent a report on their findings.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) put House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) in charge of the initial phase of the inquiry, which included closed-door depositions and public hearings and constituted the bulk of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
Axios reported last month that Pelosi put Schiff in charge because she was not happy with how Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) handled the Russia hearings with former special counsel Robert Mueller.
David Axelrod, former chief strategist for President Barack Obama, validated Pelosi’s concerns while watching the hearing on Wednesday, tweeting, “It’s early but watching Nadler in the early going suggests why @SpeakerPelosi wanted @RepAdamSchiff and the Intel Committee to do the heavy lifting.”
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) December 4, 2019
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