Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, is asking House Democrats to expand the list of witnesses in the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump.
Per The Hill, in a letter sent to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler on Saturday, Collins demanded that the New York Democrat expands the panel beyond the four legal experts scheduled to testify.
“To ensure fairness and restore integrity to the ongoing impeachment process, I request an expanded panel and a balanced composition of academic witnesses to opine on the subject matter at issue during the hearing,” Collins wrote.
Drawing a parallel between prior impeachment hearings and Trump’s, the Republican explained that more than four academic witnesses testified during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
“On December 4, the Committee will hear from only four academic witnesses during its consideration of the question of impeachment. This is less than a quarter of those called to testify during the Clinton impeachment,” he said.
“In light of this, I request that you expand the number of witnesses called upon to testify on December 4 to give the American people a wider array of perspectives regarding impeachment,” Collins wrote to Nadler.
The letter did not reveal which witnesses the GOP would like to summon, but it comes less than 24 hours after Nadler’s notice to the White House.
On Friday, Nadler set a deadline for the White House to say if it will participate in the hearings. The top Democrat told Trump that he has until December 6 to notify Congress. He also wrote to Collins, asking the GOP lawmaker whether he wants to issues subpoenas related to the inquiry.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced earlier this week that the House committees probing Trump are drafting a report for Nadler’s committee, asserting that evidence suggests the commander-in-chief “sought foreign influence” in the 2020 election.
Democrats are investigating Trump over his allegedly inappropriate dealings with the Ukrainian government. Lead by Schiff, House Democrats are probing whether the president froze military aid to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Democrats’ allegations are based on claims made by an anonymous intelligence community official, who blew the whistle on the president’s actions, notifying Congress about them in a formal filing. According to House Democrats, the individual’s claims have been corroborated by witness testimonies.
The White House has defied congressional subpoenas, refusing to cooperate with the investigators, and GOP lawmakers have long complained about procedural matters, accusing Democrats of shutting them out of the entire process.