House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) urged House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to include more academics as witnesses for the Dec. 4 impeachment hearing.
“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 in a letter (pdf) to Nadler.
The least Chairman Nadler can do to show an ounce of fairness to the American people—and indicate that Judiciary proceedings will be more than raw political theater—is allow an equal distribution of witnesses for Wednesday’s impeachment hearing.https://t.co/MA5hYfumcd
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) November 30, 2019
Nadler told the White House in a Nov. 26 letter (pdf) that the first impeachment hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee will be on Dec. 4. The hearing, titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment” will address the historical and constitutional basis of impeachment and the examine the intent and understanding the framers of the constitution had when they used the term “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
He also required the White House to give notice to the committee by 6:00 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2019, if they would like to participate in the hearing. The deadline was later extended to 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2019, The Epoch Times reported.
According to Collins, the House Judiciary Committee will hear from four academic witnesses during the hearing, which he thinks is too few.
He requested that Nadler expand the number of academic witnesses to align with the procedures used during the impeachment inquiry of former president Bill Clinton and allocate them equally between the majority and the minority’s choosing.
Two panels of nine and ten academics were called to testify during Clinton’s impeachment hearing.
Colins didn’t say which witnesses the Republicans would like to call.
In a Nov. 29 letter (pdf), Nadler set 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2019, as the deadline for Collins to consider issuing any subpoena or interrogatory in accordance with the impeachment inquiry resolution passed by the House.
The Dec. 4 hearing is set to take place following a series of public hearings and closed-door depositions started by the House Intelligence Committee in late September. It will be the first time the Judiciary Committee will examine evidence from the Intelligence Committee regarding Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on Nov. 25 that his panel is creating a report that will be delivered to Nadler and his committee, The Epoch Times reported.
“What is left to us now is to decide whether [Trump’s] behavior is compatible with the office of the presidency,” he wrote in the letter, “and whether the Constitutional process of impeachment is warranted.”
Schiff then said he hopes that Republican lawmakers will go along with the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry. In a procedural vote on the inquiry last month, all Republicans and two Democrats voted against it.
“I urge all members to find guidance from our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution,” he wrote. “For the people, we must defend our Democracy.”
Trump and other White House officials have vehemently denied any wrongdoing, with the president calling it another witch hunt by Democrats.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.