House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrod Nadler Wednesday opened the panel’s impeachment hearing accusing President Trump of openly soliciting foreign help in the 2016 and 2020 elections.
But the committee’s ranking Republican Doug Collins of Georgia, blasted the impeachment inquiry as a politically motivated move because Democrats won’t be able to beat Mr. Trump in the next election.
“The clock and the calendar are driving impeachment, not the facts,” Mr. Collins said.
He also claimed Democrats have a “deep seated hatred” of Mr. Trump because “he came to the White House and did what he said he would do.”
But Mr. Nadler emphasized the president pressing his Ukraine counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into political rival Joseph R. Biden and his son, Hunter. He said Mr. Trump has a history of welcoming foreign help in an election.
He also accused the president of welcoming Russian help in the 2016 election. Although ex-special counsel Robert Mueller concluded no member of the Trump campaign conspired to influence the 2016 election.
“The president’s pattern of behavior has become clear,” said Mr. Nadler, New York Democrat. “President Trump welcomed foreign interference in the 2016 election and demanded for the 2020 election. In both cases he got caught.”
Mr. Nadler quoted testimony from Mr. Mueller, who imposed the American people to focus on Russia’s efforts to meddle in U.S. elections.
Mr. Collins said the impeachment inquiry was taking Congress’ attention away from investigating election interference.
“I agree with him completely, except the American people didn’t include the Judiciary Committee. We didn’t do anything,” he said, adding the committee should hold hearings on Mr. Mueller’s findings.