The Republican ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Doug Collins, speaks out against the Democratic majority's decision to subpoena Trump officials and hold hearings with empty chairs when they do not show up.
"Even gaveling in today's hearing without a witness is theatrical. The cameras love the spectacle. I just am glad today to see that we don't have chicken on the dais," he quipped, referring to Rep. Steve Cohen's display of fried chicken at the last hearing where Attorney General Bill Barr did not show.
REP. DOUG COLLINS: Here we go again. The theater is open and the summations are coming in. In fact, right now we're going to begin running over the norms of Congressional oversight. We're at the edge of running roughshod over the Constitution by asking for things that we don't --
But I am glad about one thing. I am glad that the chairman read into the record today the Mueller report. I'm glad he quoted directly from the Mueller report. I just wish my chairman would go read the rest of it which he has been offered to read, which he has chosen not to read. But he did leave out one thing. He read McGahn's testimony beautifully but he left out what he doesn't want to have to come back to and the frustrating thing that has brought us here again and again and again and that is the conclusions.
There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. There's nothing here.
After two years of doing this, we can read it in, you can talk about how you don't like it, you can talk about what you would like to ask, but the end of the day we're going to read in the quotes that will make the headlines but we're not going to read in the bottom line of what was concluded. The Democrats are here trying again. The Mueller report found that there was no collusion and no obstruction.
Because the report failed to provide damning evidence or information against the president, the majority claims we need to dig deeper. Deeper than the two years of investigation by what is considered a prosecutorial dream team because that probe ended without criminal charges against the president or his family. The special counsel closed up shop without giving Democrats anything to deliver to their base. Now the Democrats are trying desperately to make something out of nothing which is why the chairman has again haphazardly subpoenaed today's witnesses.
That move has eninsured the witness will not testify. This is becoming a pattern. The chairman knew this when he sent the subpoena last month but instead of inviting him to testify voluntarily the chairman rushed to maximize headlines by issuing a subpoena. That subpoena was the third in just four months. More subpoenas than the prior chairman issued in six years. The chairman has several ways out here. He took none of them. The chairman could have invited the witness to testify voluntarily. That was the practice in the '90s when the White House's counsel testified before Congress.
The chairman launched a subpoena at the witness without any consultation or follow-up with the witness's lawyer. The chairman could have invited the witness to testify behind closed doors but that would have been politically expedient and you wouldn't have been here and the show wouldn't have been as exciting. Even gaveling in today's hearing without a witness is theatrical. The cameras love the spectacle. I just am glad today to see that we don't have chicken on the dais.