Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., makes a statement at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Pelosi announced that the House is moving forward to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, spoke with Brian Kilmeade about Speaker Nancy Pelosi's announcement that the House will proceed with articles of impeachment. Collins said he is not surprised by the Speaker's announcement because democrats have wanted to impeach President Trump since day one.

Watch here for the full interview:


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Full transcript:

Nancy Pelosi audio: Today, I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment. I commend our committee chairs and our members for their somber approach to actions which I wish the president had not made necessary.

Brian Kilmeade: Speaker of the House 30 minutes ago announcing argues impeachment going forward, taking the mystery out. Joining us now, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where those articles of impeachment will be drafted, Doug Collins. Congressman, what's your reaction to this breaking news?

Doug Collins: Well, the good thing about it is I'm not surprised. I mean, they've been wanting to this from day one. This has been the worst kept secret in Washington, D.C. Speaker Pelosi has wanted to impeach this president for a long time. She's had to suffer through ineptness in the Judiciary Committee, hidden secrets, and closed door meetings with Adam Schiff to get there. But now she's just determined that she can't wait any longer, and this is what we're going to be doing. So Merry Christmas, America. The Democrats are destroying the unity in our country, and they're doing so at a president who is doing his very best for our country. So we'll see what happens. Yesterday was a total disaster for them. So I don't know how you move out of yesterday and move into impeachment articles today.

Brian Kilmeade: She says the facts are uncontested. The president's sought dirt on a political opponent. She says this is an abuse of power. And she went on to say she has really no choice but to do this. She does it sadly, but with confidence and humility and allegiance to the founding fathers. Which your reaction to that statement?

Doug Collins: Well, I'm not sure how much she read of the founding fathers because the founding fathers were very concerned about political impeachment, which is what this is. I'm tired of their humility. I'm tired of their somberness. They've never done this. I mean, let's go back. Where was the humility and somberness when one of our own members said that, using explicative, is "We're going to impeach him" the day she was sworn in. Okay. Let's get over this and say, "Well, we're being somber. We wish we didn't have to do this." That's such a load of bull. It piles higher than a cow farm.

I mean, this is -- they're just going at this because this is what they want to do. Listen, I'm always a big believer in choice counseling. Choice counseling says you make your choices and you live with it. I'm ready for the Democrats to own this. And those Democrats go out and explain to their districts why instead of doing all the other things from USMCA, prescription drugs, infrastructure, they're choosing to continue the persecution of this president. And yesterday, I mean, look, "the facts are undisputed?" She needs to get somebody else to give her talking points, because that's the biggest line of fiction since John Grossman's last book.

Brian Kilmeade: Well, she did it right at 9:08. She was -- eight minutes -- 9 02. She did it with eight minutes. It was all scripted. She tried to give a perspective as if she had no choice. So, Congressman, I asked you last Thursday, what's going on this week? You didn't know, and then you said Jerry Nadler didn't know. So we have Thanksgiving. We come back, and then we get this hearing. Now what? And now what, after hearing that, do you know what's next?

Doug Collins: No, I was Jerry Nadler knew what was next. He has no clue. I asked him last night. I put him on the spot last night. Number one, I do know one thing. We're going to get a minority hearing day, because we properly asked for it, it is under the rules, and we're going to get a minority hearing day. We'll see how that plays out. We asked for --

Brian Kilmeade: I don't know what that is. What is that?

Doug Collins: It's going to be to me -- we're going to have a hearing in which we call witnesses. So we're actually going to be able to present the other side and get this in a different way. And we'll talk to you more about that as the chairman gives me my time. But the issue that we've gotten now is Jerry Nadler has no clue to what he's doing there. We're waiting on them to tell us. This is how sad -- this is how broken the Democratic Party is up here. They cannot even tell after the speaker, the leader of their party, tells us, "Go draft articles of impeachment." She -- the chairman of the committees is supposed to do that can't tell us how that's supposed to happen. And we're not supposed to give him our, quote, "witness list" till tomorrow. But he's not told us what the hearings are going to be. It looks like now they're going to bypass all due process, all pretense, and go straight to impeachment.

Brian Kilmeade: Doug Collins with us now. Congressman, have you talked to any Democrat that has told you, number one, they're not comfortable, and number two, they're not voting for it?

Doug Collins: Not past the two, but I've heard a lot of people who are uncomfortable. And, you know, look, I've had members come up to me and say -- you know, look, they were furious about yesterday. It's like, really? Several of them have made mention that it didn't go well for them. I'm not sure where they thought it went well. I mean, you have to be in an alternate universe to believe yesterday was perfect for them to make their case, when most of their witnesses, one were very hateful to the president, number one. But number two, they kept talking. Their examples were brought to, you know, historical middle England. I mean, this is not preparing the facts of the case. And Mr. Turley yesterday did a great job of say, "You're basically saying facts don't matter. In other words, you're saying whatever facts we want will fit to an impeachment case." And one of the witnesses that is an inference is okay. If you infer that that's what happened, then that's enough for impeachment. That's just wrong.

Brian Kilmeade: It was an embarrassment yesterday. And I say that just as a viewer. I mean, you see those three partisans, not the North Carolina guy as much as the other two, was sickening. It was like a knock off pundit meeting. Here's Jonathan Turley. I think something is very salient for this moment. As we know articles impeachment will be filed. Cut 12.

Jonathan Turley: I can't emphasize this enough, and I'll say it just one more time. If you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It's your abuse of power. You were doing precisely what you are criticizing the president for doing.

Brian Kilmeade: Because he wasn't turning over every witness, he was going to the courts for the subpoenas and having them decide. Go ahead.

Doug Collins: Well, I mean, if that's the standard you used, Obama wouldn't have lasted his first term. I mean, look, there's a part that the president there's always a give and take between the executive and the congressional. It always has been, always will be. And I mean, I go back to -- but one of the things that I'm going to emphasize, not even using the Obama administration, not use others. Just this year when my chairman was being a stick in the mud, not going and talking to the Department of Justice, not trying to make accommodations, Adam Schiff actually had intelligence, went to them, had accommodations made, and we're getting more information than the Judiciary Committee because they were willing to have an ongoing conversation. Eliot Engel, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee --

Brian Kilmeade: Real quick.

Doug Collins: -- was going to the different departments and getting the same thing because they're willing to negotiate. My chairman is just incapable of rational thought.

Brian Kilmeade: I hear you. Doug Collins, thanks so much for following this breaking news.