In an interview with Fox News broadcast on Sunday, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, vowed to make Democrat Adam Schiff testify before the United States Congress.
“My first and foremost witness is Adam Schiff,” Collins told host Chris Wallace, per The Hill.
Noting that Schiff has “compared himself in the past to a special counsel,” Collins reminded the public that then-special counsel Ken Starr testified in the impeachment probe into former President Bill Clinton.
According to Collins, Schiff is obliged to do the same and testify in the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.
“[Schiff] has put himself into that position,” he said.
“If he chooses not to [testify], then I really have to question his veracity in what he’s putting in his report,” the congressman added, referring to the top Democrat’s report about his committee’s findings.
“It’s easy to hide behind a report. But it’s going to be another thing to actually get up and have to answer questions.”
Wallace pointed out that multiple impeachment witnesses claim that Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, conditioning military aid on the investigations.
Furthermore, Trump allegedly wanted Ukraine to investigate claims made about the 2016 presidential election, the host noted.
He then asked Collins whether he believes the president’s actions toward the eastern European country were wrong.
“The premise of your question is based on witnesses who agree with your premise,” Collins responded.
The Republican lawmaker also said that he does not believe Trump’s alleged pressuring of the Ukrainian government is an impeachable offense, rejecting Wallace’s questions as purely hypothetical and asserting that he believes the president did nothing wrong.
On FOX News Sunday: Chris asks Congressman Doug Collins if he sees anything wrong with President Trump conditioning support for Ukraine to them investigating the president's rivals. #FNS #FoxNews #Impeachment #Politics pic.twitter.com/PLDdDCudU0— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) December 1, 2019
As one of the leading Republicans in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, Collins has been putting pressure on Democratic leaders, defending Trump against investigations.
In a letter sent to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler on Saturday, the GOP lawmaker demanded that House Democrats expand the list of impeachment witnesses.
Collins’ letter came less than 24 hours after Nadler’s — the Democrat set a deadline for the White House to say if it will participate in the hearings.
The White House has long refused to cooperate with the investigations, and the president’s Republican allies in the House have accused their Democratic colleagues of running a sham inquiry.
Numerous Trump administration officials are implicated in the president’s alleged wrongdoings, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. According to State Department documents, Pompeo coordinated and collaborated with Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, pressuring the Ukrainian government to investigate Democrats.