This Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee kickstarted its first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry, this time featuring four Constitutional law professors brought in to discuss the legal basis of impeaching President Donald Trump. The opening statement from the committee’s top Republican Doug Collins of Georgia was an angry, loud, fast-talking rant about how — among other things — Democrats are supposedly rushing the impeachment process without considering the facts and Americans supposedly don’t care about what the professors have to say. To be clear, an impeachment inquiry hearing isn’t exactly supposed to be like a backyard fish fry — but Collins ranted on anyway!
‘The clock and the calendar are what’s driving impeachment, not the facts. When we understand this, that’s what the witnesses here will say today. What do we have here today? What is really interesting over today and for the next few weeks is that America will see why most people don’t go to law school. No offense to our professors, but please — really?’
To be clear, literally just this Wednesday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) noted to Democratic members of Congress that there’s no set timeline for the development and final vote on possible formal articles of impeachment. That doesn’t exactly seem poised to wind Collins back down to earth, though.
He went on from the above to more disjointed observations, railing:
‘They can be theoretical all we want, but the American people is going to look at this and say, ‘Huh? What are we doing?’ Because there’s no fact witnesses planned for this committee. That’s an interesting thing.’
Many fact witnesses were already publicly heard by the House Intelligence Committee just within the last couple to few weeks. Collins, like many of his colleagues, is just grasping at straws here.
He quickly attracted a lot of mockery from those observing his behavior. He seemed intent on defending the president, no matter the cost, but in so doing, he had to resort to attacking the process rather than engaging with the facts.
At one point, for example, he yelled:
‘Don’t tell me this is about new evidence and new things and new stuff.’
In other words, he quite simply doesn’t want to her about evidence. He even complained that the House Intelligence Committee would be presenting their findings in coming days because… reasons.
These are certainly … words. https://t.co/pUh32p3dLK
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 4, 2019
In the hearing itself, one of the witnesses slammed Collins for his suggestion that they weren’t appropriately prepared witnesses.
Stanford Law Professor Pamela Karlan said:
‘Here Mr. Collins I would like to say to you, sir, that I read transcripts of every one of the witnesses who appeared in the live hearings… I’m insulted by the suggestion that as a law professor I don’t care about those facts.’
Pamela Karlan *is not* messing around: “Here Mr. Collins I would like to say to you, sir, that I read transcripts of every one of the witnesses who appeared in the live hearings … I’m insulted by the suggestion that as a law professor I don’t care about those facts.” pic.twitter.com/TXhmZXVWiM
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 4, 2019
It went on. Columnist Michelle Goldberg quipped:
‘”There are no set facts here,” says Rep. Doug Collins, summing up the Republican strategy of epistemological nihilism.’
Commentator Jon Favreau added:
‘I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it was easier to understand Devin Nunes’s conspiracy nonsense than Doug Collins’s rapid ramblings.’
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