“This house of cards constructed by Democrats over the last two years is about to come crashing down. This IG Report is the first step.
“What will Durham find? More importantly, about whom will he find it? I think that question will keep my friends in the majority up at night.”
WASHINGTON — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, gave the following closing statement for the impeachment presentation of evidence hearing.
Below are the remarks as prepared.
Ranking Member Collins: Mr. Chairman, we’ve had quite a day. We’ve covered a lot of ground. We’ve had some tense exchanges on both sides.
It’s now almost 7 P.M., and we’ve been going since 9 a.m., so that’s 10 hours. At the end of the day, we haven’t said or done anything that is going to make anyone more likely to vote to impeach this president. Quite the contrary — I imagine some of your moderate members are really regretting this rush to impeachment, yet we are sitting here, discussing whether to impeach the president over a call he had with the Ukrainian president, in which he asked President Zelensky to look into how the 2016 investigation began.
Democrats are seeking to impeach the president over that. We are seeing the problems with the Russia investigation play out again in front of our eyes. This fuss over Ukraine is the same thing, using the same playbook: A select group of individuals are colluding against President Trump, to ensure they “get” him, and they are blowing through every procedure and principle of fairness and honesty to ensure they get him in time.
Why? Well, we know the answer. In 2019, just as in 2016, time is running out. Opponents of President Trump are furiously working to eliminate him as a viable candidate, so he does not win.
What is the basis for my saying this? Well, it’s contained in the Department of Justice Inspector General Report that was released while we were wasting time in here. This report contains facts Democrats hoped would never come to light.
Here are some of the IG’s top-line findings:
- The FBI included inaccurate information in the Carter Page FISA application;
- The FBI failed to include exculpatory information in the FISA;
- The FBI did not corroborate a huge amount of the information in the Page FISA;
- The FBI chose to defensively brief candidate Clinton and not candidate Trump;
- The FBI failed to disclose Bruce Ohr’s information that Steele’s reporting was going directly to the Clinton campaign; and
- An FBI attorney altered another agency’s email to mislead about whether Carter Page had actually been a U.S. intelligence source.
Bottom line, the report shows the Page FISA never should have been obtained. If you don’t have the Page FISA, you don’t have a Russia investigation. If you don’t have a Russia investigation, you can’t knock out the president as a candidate in time for the 2016 election and you can’t hamstring the president’s first two years in office with a special counsel investigation.
That is why we are here. After the Special Counsel investigation concluded, the president rightly requested that a foreign nation assist in determining how this whole thing started. That is why there was a July 25 call. That is what brings us here today.
Now we know, this whole thing — for the last nearly three years — has been a political farce, orchestrated by the Democrats and their media allies.
The report shows a lot more. It’s 434 pages. I’m confident more will come out over the coming days and weeks, so everyone should stay tuned.
A note of particular interest to my colleagues: The report shows the findings of the investigation conducted by Judiciary and Oversight Committee Republicans — which, unlike this investigation, as Mr. Castor noted, was conducted carefully, deliberately and in accordance with proper investigatory processes — were correct.
One other item I’ll leave my colleagues with: You may not have noticed this, but John Durham, the veteran prosecutor who is conducting a criminal investigation into these matters, issued a statement today. Mr. Durham stated that he disagreed with a fundamental aspect of the IG’s findings. He disagreed with the IG about the propriety of the investigation’s “predication and how the FBI case was opened.”
So, I have one thing to say to my friends: watch out. This house of cards constructed by Democrats over the last two years is about to come crashing down. This IG Report is the first step.
What will Durham find? More importantly, about whom will he find it? I think that question will keep my friends in the majority up at night.
We should not forget that is why we are here in the first place. We are here because Democrats spent two years accusing the President of the United States of “colluding” with Russia.
Chairman Schiff, who of course isn’t here, said he had evidence in plain sight. Well, like many other things Chairman Schiff has said, everyone knows that isn’t true.
Robert Mueller spent two years and 25 million dollars to prove collusion is a myth.
Now, Chairman Schiff tells us Trump held up aid to Ukraine because he wanted investigations. That’s just not true at all. Only Gordon Sondland thought that, and he admitted that was just a guess. Everyone else said there was no linkage, or they weren’t in the discussions with Ukrainian leadership.
Chairman Schiff has done this before; he repeatedly claimed there was “collusion in plain sight.” Where is it? Of course, it doesn’t exist, in plain sight or anywhere else. The Mueller report makes that clear.
The Schiff report, by contrast, is a work of fiction. It’s full of holes. Now that it’s left Chairman Schiff’s bunker and been exposed to the light, it’s crumbling. Don’t believe this newest farce.
Schiff also subpoenaed phone records against reporters and his political adversaries. Today, Mr. Goldman refused to tell us who is responsible for that. I guess that information is ensconced in Schiff’s capitol basement bunker, never to be shown to the public.
Chairman Schiff — not his staff — needs to testify. He compared himself to Ken Starr. Well, Ken Starr testified. Where’s Adam?
We have had six days of public hearings, but in the only Judiciary Committee hearing Democrats invited liberal law professors who have said for years Trump needs to be impeached. Hardly compelling testimony.
Not a single Republican approves of this inquiry, we even have some Democrats not approving. The star witness of the only Judiciary hearing was the witness Republicans invited.
Professor Jonathan Turley isn’t a supporter of the president, but he reminded us that impeaching on this record would be an abuse of power — by the House.
Speaker Pelosi bet on the wrong horse with Adam Schiff.
The reason Democrats are rushing through this is because they know it’s a loser of an argument.
The other reason Democrats are rushing is no one has had any idea how to proceed because of an artificial deadline to finish by Christmas.
I want to take a moment to thank Mr. Castor and Ms. Callen. They are the top investigators in the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. They each have 15-20 years of experience in the House, conducting investigations to protect American interests and taxpayer dollars.
What these public servants don’t usually do as part of their work is field questions from Democrat donors and pundits. Mr. Castor and Ms. Callen usually work for and alongside members of Congress and fellow public servants.
I’m sorry that the majority chose to highlight elites instead of highlighting their own investigators, their own public servants. I’m sorry they chose to bring pundits and high-priced consultants onto the House payroll in order to conduct a public impeachment that deals more in smoke and mirrors than facts and fairness.
Let me take a moment, then, to thank the investigators who you haven’t seen up here today: two Democrats who have served Intelligence and Judiciary Democrats in the way Mr. Castor and Ms. Callen have served Republicans. They’re career public servants. They’re here when the lights go out and the cameras turn off — working for the taxpayers, working to keep our government accountable, working to find answers on behalf of the people my fellow lawmakers and I represent.
On behalf of Northeast Georgia and all the constituents my colleagues represent, thank you. Thank you, Steve. Thank you, Ashley. It’s because of your work that Americans don’t have to rely on pundits, donor and lawyers-on-lease in order to hold government accountable.
Mr. Chairman, here are the facts. They’re pretty simple.
We continue to help Ukraine. In fact, as has famously been pointed out, the Obama Administration gave the Ukrainians blankets, and the Trump Administration gave them Javelin missiles.
The Democrats impeaching the president for asking other countries to chip in is not like Bill Clinton perjuring himself, and it’s not like Nixon organizing a cover-up of the Watergate break-in.
The president was doing his job. The Democrats don’t like that he’s doing it well because that means he’ll win in 2020. So, they want to cheat and throw him out. They want to not only impeach the president; they want to impeach every American who voted for him.
This impeachment is a joke, and Americans know it. There has been no crime, there has been nothing improper. This is a smokescreen for the documented misconduct against this president.
See you in 2020.