WASHINGTON — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, today sent a second letter to Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) calling for hearings on Russian election interference. Collins sent an original request this June.
The full letter is available here and below.
August 13, 2019
The Honorable Jerrold Nadler
Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Nadler:
On July 24, 2019, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, compelled by subpoena, and answered questions from both Democrats and Republicans. As expected, Mr. Mueller’s testimony was a rehashing of his report, which describes in detail Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mr. Mueller made clear Russia presents an ongoing threat to our democratic ideals. In fact, Russian interference will continue to spread in the face of congressional inaction. As Mr. Mueller testified last week regarding Russian meddling in elections, “They’re doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign.”
On June 4, 2019, I wrote you a letter calling on you to hold a series of hearings in which we could consider a range of opinions regarding the threat Russia and other actors have played, and will play, in our elections. Unfortunately, since my letter, you have instead held hearings entitled: “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes;” “Lessons from the Mueller Report, Part II: Bipartisan Perspectives;” “Lessons from the Mueller Report, Part III: Constitutional Processes for Addressing Presidential Misconduct;” and “Oversight of the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election: Former Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III.”
In addition, you used Committee time and resources — which could have been used to craft and move election security legislation — to force Hope Hicks to answer questions she had previously answered on multiple occasions and to compel Annie Donaldson to answer questions that could be answered by simply reading Mr. Mueller’s report. Last month, you petitioned a U.S. District Court requesting confidential grand jury material referenced in Mr. Mueller’s report — material to which Congress has no legal right. Last week, you filed a lawsuit to compel testimony of former White House Counsel Don McGahn without engaging in the requisite negotiations and accommodations process.
None of these actions have anything to do with the threat Russia poses to our elections, but they do have a purpose. The purpose is to embarrass the President and perpetuate the dying hopes of impeaching him. Your actions have done absolutely nothing to confront the grave warning sounded by Mr. Mueller’s report, a warning he reiterated in his testimony and in his May 29, 2019 remarks when he stated, “[T]here were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”
We need to return to our jobs as legislators and forego investigating that which has been investigated. Committee Republicans have taken the lead in this arena by sponsoring the DETER Act and Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act. Again, I call on you to hold hearings to give us a legislative roadmap to combat Russian interference in future elections. Our focus should not be re-investigating, re-litigating, or otherwise redoing what has already been finished. Instead, our focus should be on the future, which Mr. Mueller has warned is rife with challenges. We must use our constitutional legislative power to confront them.