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Collins told Bret Baier Thursday on “Special Report” he had “sobering” reflections about both the vote and critical comments he made on the House floor in its aftermath.
“What I had said earlier today really began to hit, and that is, a dark cloud has fallen upon the House,” he said. “It is not a cloud of something that we have not known about — it is something that Democrats have talked about for well over two years or almost three years since Donald Trump was elected.”
Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, criticized the process as laid out in the Democrat-sponsored resolution, which he said gives House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., immense power.
“What they did today was [they] went to the floor of the House and shredded our procedures and shredded our rules and lied to the American people about saying that they wanted to be fair,” the Georgia lawmaker said.
He said that under the approved resolution, the White House will be afforded limited input on the impeachment inquiry until the proceedings reach the Judiciary Committee.
Democrats, he said, appear willing to “continue their sham behind closed doors — possibly having a couple of open hearings,” Collins said. “Really, it’s just a sad state of affairs and they’re going to have to answer for that one day.”
Collins added he found it regrettable that Democrats set the rules for the impeachment proceedings as they did, saying he believes those rules appear to supersede long-established congressional precedent.
“I’m a duly elected member of the House from the state of Georgia and our rule book says that I can have access to any of those transcripts that I want as long as I ask for those from the relevant committee chairs — I’ve tried to do that,” he said, calling the inquiry a “one-sided event.”
Immediately following the vote, Collins slammed Democrats and claimed Schiff is trying to act as his own probe’s independent counsel.
“Here’s my challenge to Mr. Schiff. You wanna be Ken Starr? Be Ken Starr,” Collins said, referring to the special prosecutor who led the investigation into Bill Clinton.
“Come to the Judiciary Committee. Be the first witness and take every question asked of you. Starting with your own involvement [with] the whistleblower.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.