This is a rush transcript from "Life, Liberty & Levin," January 19, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARK LEVIN, HOST: Hello America, Mark Levin. This is "Life, Liberty & Levin."
Representative Doug Collins. How are you, sir?
REP. DOUG COLLINS, R-GA.: I'm doing great. It's good to see you.
LEVIN: Well, you've been busy.
COLLINS: Just a little bit.
LEVIN: You're the Ranking Member in the Judiciary Committee, the top Republican. You were Chairman of the Judiciary Committee at one point.
COLLINS: I should have been, yes.
LEVIN: Or should have been. I've got a lot of questions for you. First of all, let's talk about witnesses. Then we'll get into some of the other issues.
The Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, how many witnesses were you able to call during that process?
LEVIN: Did you ask for witnesses?
COLLINS: We did. We asked for witnesses. We were shut down.
LEVIN: You were shut down.
COLLINS: It was even worse than that. Not only just witnesses. I remember a time when we had -- we only had two hearings, Mark. I mean, think about how bad this was.
We had two hearings, and one of them was constitutional scholars, which was a complete waste of time, and the other one was staff. So really, it was an amazing just run for a committee that should be the premier, if we're going to do it, this is the committee to do it.
I called -- I remember calling the Chairman on the constitutional lawyers and saying, could we just get one more? I couldn't even get one more attorney on our side, one more a lawyer on our side to be able to come.
Well, it was just shut down, shut down. It has just got to be a big rigmarole where we're just trying to get one more non-entity, non-fact witness. That's how bad they shut this down and how bad it was on the clock and calendar. It was just -- it was an amazing run.
LEVIN: It is amazing, because when you consider past impeachment processes with Henry Hyde and Peter Odino and involving judges, not just Presidents, it's really been a rather open process. There's been some kind of due process.
Tell me, how many witnesses were the President's lawyers able to ask for during the hearing?
COLLINS: Again, this is where we really get into it, Mark. If you really - - you brought it up and I think it's perfect because the Democrats have tried to all along say this is, you know, we're going to do this, just like Nixon. We're going to do this just like Clinton.
And they couldn't have been further from the party. It is spring -- summer and winter. It's just two different polar opposites here.
We did a calculation the other day, and it was roughly from the time that Speaker Pelosi said we're at an Impeachment Inquiry on September 24th. Now, she has no power to do that. And she and a few -- if anybody says, Doug, she does. Well, then, why then in October on the 31st did we pass the House Resolution 660 actually saying we were in impeachment, because they knew there wasn't.
But if you just go from her date of September 24th, because that's when she turned, Adam Schiff -- the Schiff Show began -- and she went to her trusted ally who has trouble with the truth, who has his own issues with this process that I'm sure we'll talk about.
But you go back to the end of when we finally voted out at the House, 78 days, approximately. Out of that 78 days, 71 of those days, the President had no chance to be a part of the process at all.
Now, you compare that with Clinton. In Clinton, there had been an ongoing investigation with Ken Starr and others for, you know, well over almost three years. The President's team had been involved from day one. They had grand jury testimony, all of this, you know, in fact, that's where the whole thing really developed out of.
Go back to Nixon. They were having these special hearings. There was everything where the White House has been involved.
When you get to this one, when you had 78 days of process in the House, in which 71 of those days, the President was not even allowed to participate at all. There's no way you can see that this was anywhere fair. This was all about a vendetta of one thing. We don't like him. We want to get rid of him and we've got a clock that's beating down on us, a calendar beating down on us because we have to do this before the next election. And that's what we saw.
LEVIN: These Impeachment Articles: Obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. When you go back and you look at the Madison's notes and the debates at the Constitutional Convention, they spent a lot of time on impeachment.
First, they weren't sure there should be impeachment. They then decided, okay, well, maybe there should be impeachment. But they wanted to make certain that the President of the United States was protected. That he wasn't just answerable to the House of Representatives. They didn't want a Parliament. It's three branches, separation of powers.
And as you know, George Mason proposed maladministration, that was the word he used as a test for impeachment. Madison says, no, that bar is too low. And so they borrow from English common law and English experience. They come up with treason, bribery, other high crimes and misdemeanors.
Obstruction of Congress, and abuse of power falls into the maladministration category, which means if a President does something you don't like policy-wise, or dares to challenge his subpoena in the court, you're going to impeach him? Is that what's happened here?
COLLINS: That's exactly what's happened, Mark, and that's the concern we have here. And, you know, there's been abuse of power discussions in other impeachments, and that's an okay obstruction of Congress.
But we're talking obstruction of Congress from an illegality standpoint. What's happened here? I just broke down into two parts. The abuse of power article is simply Nancy Pelosi telling her caucus, just go say whatever you want to say, because they don't have an abuse of power.
You know, the actual phone call, what they're trying to say was a wrong deed. It is not a wrong deed. There was nothing wrong with it. So what they did was, they said, well, we can't come up with anything. So let's say abuse of power.
So let's just say as you said, I don't want the way the President handled this situation. So that member from wherever in the country can say, I voted for this because the President shouldn't have said this and done it this way.
So it gives a very amorphous term. I think it's a very political term which goes by my contention all along. This is a political impeachment. It has been a political impeachment from day one.
But then you take the obstruction of Congress one. For me, that's the temper tantrum article. That's just Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler and them saying, we're not getting what we want, so we're just going to just deem that you're obstructing Congress.
The sad part about this is, is Adam Schiff actually would write to witnesses and others that he wanted to hear from that you not complying with this, we will take as obstruction.
So in other words, if you had a reason, you had anything if you didn't comply with what he wanted, we will just deem that as obstruction.
So early on, I knew that that would be one of the critical elements because they didn't want to avail themselves of any remedies they had, Article 3 courts, go and enforce a subpoena. And you know, you mentioned witnesses earlier.
This issue of Mr. Bolton. It's really interesting now how the media has portrayed this, but I want to remind everybody listening to this, that when Adam Schiff had the opportunity, he never subpoenaed John Bolton. He just let it pass.
So don't come back with this foe outrage now that, you know, that we need to hear from him. They should have done their job to start with. They didn't do it.
LEVIN: Let me ask you about this. This is very important, I think. The House of Representatives is conducting an investigation. One party controls the House of Representative, and one party wanted to impeach the President of the United States, not a single Republican believe this has ever happened before in American history.
The President is denied due process. I'm not talking about the Bill of Rights. I'm talking about the kind of due process past Presidents have had, judges have had who have faced situations like this. Basic Magna Carta type due process that people are supposed to get.
LEVIN: The President gets less due process than the terrorists on 9/11 get. They get habeas corpus rights and all of these other. The President gets no rights. No consideration.
To Republicans, no rights. No concert -- you just told me you couldn't call a single witness.
COLLINS: No, even when we asked.
LEVIN: Same problem in the House Intelligence Committee. They couldn't call a single witness. They wanted to call the whistleblower. They couldn't call the whistleblower. Can even state the whistleblower's name, let alone call the whistleblower. John Bolton.
They didn't go to court. Now, you have -- this will be the Senate, demanding John Bolton, demanding Mulvaney, Chief of Staff to the President, demanding -- I want to be directed to the President and the Secretary of State. These are for that they want.
Congressman, don't we know historically that the courts have said under executive privilege and separation of powers the small circle around the President, Congress doesn't get them?
LEVIN: So they're purposely creating this confrontation?
COLLINS: Well, they won't. Again, here's the part -- I'm going to go back to a statement that was said by the Majority Leader, Mr. Hoyer from Maryland. And he made a very revealing statement for anybody who is concerned about Constitution and rights, and especially for me, even, you know, those who -- all of my Democratic counterparts who worry about their communities where they discuss police action and just, you know, rights being violated.
It's amazing to me how they're willingly setting that aside to come up to this. Steny Hoyer actually said, the President had -- we allowed him every opportunity to come prove his innocence.
I'm sorry? Did we take a vacation and leave the United States? Did we all of a sudden suspend the Bill of Rights? Did we suspend, you know, any modicum of due process?
I don't care if you think this President ought to be impeached or not. This is irrelevant. This should bother everybody that how it came to be that we're going to make stuff up, and I talked about this on the floor of the House.
If I just wanted to go around and accuse you of something under the new standard is, then you just have to prove your innocence and everything will be okay.
I think what's going to happen when the Senate gets it, and I think a lot of folks in the Senate haven't paid as much attention, they were doing other things -- staff. Now, it's in their lap.
They're going to hear this argument in less than a week or so. They're going to hear the argument and it's going to be, here's what we say the case is. Then they're going to hear the President's defense for the first time in a long form, here is what actually happened.
And I think the American are going to go back and say -- and the senators are going to look at it and the senators are going to say, wait, this is what we're getting? These are the Articles that you sent over? This is what you have wasted so much time and now put us in a period of time in which we've got to do something?
I think the American people are going to see through this. I think that they already are seeing through it. But when you make a promise, when the Speaker makes a promise, when the Democratic left make a promise that we're going to impeach him, and they -- you know, it takes means, motive and opportunity.
Well, the means was how they can do it. The motive was that they didn't like him. They hated the way the economy is doing. They looked at their 2020 field and said this is a disaster and said, you know, we've got to do everything to investigate him, harass him, do everything we can.
So then the opportunity came. It was last November when they won the House. At that moment, if there was anybody in America and I've heard the Speaker say this and I just disagreed fully -- there were members of her party, most of our members who came to Washington when they got sworn in last January who wanted to impeach this President. It's all they wanted to do.
Everything else was sort of the "We, the People' gravy that they threw out there, which was, you know, terrible for the American people. But this is what happened. That's why we saw what we had. It is purposely done and we've just talked about just due process.
I'm not even talking about the rules of the House. We have rules and that's how Congress should function. And the founders set this up, we've seen the Jeffersonian manual. There's reasons we say the things we do. How we talk about each other, because you have to get stuff done.
They trash minority hearing days in which we had the right to call our own witnesses, they said we couldn't have them. They wouldn't let us have our witnesses. They -- it just -- to this day, the House of Representatives is -- the Democrats are in violation of their own rules for setting up the impeachment by not turning over transcripts from Adam Schiff's cave.
LEVIN: I'll ask you a question when we return, I'll ask you this question now, think about it. This is in your mind in many ways a corrupt process, correct?
COLLINS: Very much so.
LEVIN: It undermines the impeachment clause of the Constitution. Correct?
LEVIN: The way the framers set this up is the Senate as the check on the House.
LEVIN: Trial, Chief Justice, two thirds and convict to remove a President. Again, because they weren't so sure about whether to include impeachment, but they knew that you could have run away House, takes the vote of one majority, one person to impeach a President, and that the potential for the House of becoming rogue concerned them, so they wanted to check on the President.
And I agree with you, if this process is corrupt, if it really is fundamentally unconstitutional, then why is the United States Senate going to have a trial? And that is my question for you when we return.
Ladies and gentlemen, don't forget most weeknights you can watch me on Levin TV, Levin TV. Go to blazetv.com/mark to sign up, blazetv.com/mark or give us a call at 844-LEVIN-TV, 844-LEVIN-TV. We'd love to have you there. We'll be right back.
LEVIN: Congressman Doug Collins. So if it is corrupt, if it's unconstitutional, I think it is. Only the Senate can be a check on the House. That's all we have in this process.
We have a precedent now. It's a very bad precedent. The bar is very low. I've contended them. Robert Ray, the former independent counsel sat in that seat a couple of months ago, it was our position, at least have a motion to dismiss and have a vote and put people on the record whether it fails or passes as you would in a court.
But this is even bigger than a court. Make the case against what the House did, just like you're doing right now?
COLLINS: Yes. I think it's something that I could do. I mean, I think we saw that, it was a preview in Clinton's case, there was this motion, it failed, and then they went on.
But I think there's something deeper here because I think when you have fundamental unfairness, fundamental corruption, and I use the word fairness, because most Americans understand fairness.
At least in their own perception, they understand what is fair and what is not. They see it in their own lives. They see it every day. And when they are able to see just undeniable unfairness of the situation that came out of the House, in a format in which a lot of people may have focused on the House hearings. They may have focused on them or they may have tuned out.
But now there's this gravitas that is in the Senate. The trial is happening. The networks will go nuts and everybody will watch. And you'll have probably even more.
So I'm actually hopeful that if, you know -- in which they won't be able to get the dismissal more than likely, but if they don't, now they're actually going to be able to hear why this is -- why this should never have been here? Why the process was so bad?
They're going to hear how the Democrats who asked for the majority in the House, basically saying we're going to help people and do things for the American people when they spent a whole year of their majority doing nothing but harassing and investigating this President.
As the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, it's been amazing to me the things that we could do. I mean, I've been involved with criminal justice reform, you know, using modernization, we've talked about, you know, digital issues with how we handle privacy and those kinds of things.
This past year, we've done none of those. We've had political statement bills. We've not dealt with anything, but one constant is we've had investigations, and that's all they've done, and it's all set out to do one thing, impeach the President, or if they never could get there, it's just to tear him down in their mind that he could not win a reelection.
You know, you mention the founders a lot, and you should because the founders were concerned about foreign influence, rightfully so, just coming out of the British rule who instilled European dominance. But they also talked a great deal about what I feel a lot were happening here, and that's the political impeachment.
They did not want the President to be subject to the whims of a majority in the House. And so I think, could they have that vote? Sure. Have the vote. But I think what's going to happen though is actually the presentation is made, the American people is going to see how bad this really is.
LEVIN: I hope so, because it's all going to be laundered through the media.
COLLINS: Oh, very much so.
LEVIN: And what do you think the media coverage has been? You've sat there in the House Judiciary Committee through the Russia spectacle.
LEVIN: Through the Mueller spectacle. To now, this spectacle. Do you think you've gotten a fair shake from the media?
COLLINS: No, I think we've gotten a shake. I think that's about the best way to put it and I think what was always amazing to me in all of this, I want to go back to Mueller. It's hard to believe that's almost been a year ago, Mueller, you know, look, this is me the report that will the doom the world and it turned out to be what we thought -- nothing.
The media, what I've seen in this process is, there always has been, okay, we'll accept the Democrats take, and then okay, Congressman, you prove what you're saying is right. It's like, okay, you're taking there, which I get, you have more tendency to go there.
But every time I would say something like, I would question a witness or we would come out and say, this evidence is not right. It was always a tendency, but don't you think that this could be -- and just fill in your blank.
So that's the part that we've become, you know, so unfortunately accustomed to in Washington, D.C. is seeing the reporters start the article sort of in their head, go to get their information to prove what they already want to write, and any other time and it's amazing. We've seen this in so many events, that what this President does is completely wrong, adverse and sets us apart from the world.
But yet if you compare it to an event under President Obama or even President Clinton, they're going, oh, well, that's a whole different setup.
And so yes, that's our problem that we've had with the media. We've had to go straight to shows like yours and to others, and we just had to go out and tell our constituents, this is what's happening.
LEVIN: Let me ask you a question. These Articles: Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Let's stay with abuse of power for a second.
Barack Obama used the F.B.I. to surveil journalists, one at "The New York Times" and one at Fox and more than a dozen at the Associated Press. President Trump never did.
We have Fast and Furious where our government is selling arms to drug and mobsters in Mexico. It results in the death of an American. President Trump has never done that.
We have DACA, like it or not, to me, it's an unconstitutional law. It's legislation that was an executive fiat. President Trump has never done that.
LEVIN: Let's go back a little further. LBJ used the F.B.I., the C.I.A. and the I.R.S. against his political opponents. President Trump has never done that.
JFK use the F.B.I., the I.R.S. FDR used the I.R.S. against the media and against his opponents. I could go on.
Abuse of power, should they all have been impeached? You think the Democrats would everyone would impeached Obama, LBJ, JFK, or FDR?
COLLINS: They wouldn't. And we know that because, you know, when Obama, the Fast and Furious was up and other things were being discussed, Obamacare, whatever it maybe, the DACA issue. You know, there was someone on our side, some in the room saying let's impeach him, but the Democrats, you know never did.
And from our side, we didn't either because we understood exactly what this looks like. And I think that's the part that we've got to continue to face here is that you cannot continue this complete, just double standard of saying that President Trump --
And what you just laid out was so important and people need to hear that. President Trump has done none of these things and yet every time that they turn around, they want to get rid of him.
LEVIN: But let me ask you something. Yes or no? Has the President violated some statute?
LEVIN: Has the President violated some rule?
LEVIN: Some court order?
LEVIN: Some constitutional provision?
LEVIN: No, he hasn't.
LEVIN: None of it.
COLLINS: But look what he has done. He got tax reform passed. He got the USMCA passed. He got a China trade deal passed. He's got criminal justice reform done. He's got the setup of our immigration system, our border wall, beginning a security measure.
He's made our military proud. He's made our foreign policy different.
You know, the real the problem here, Mark is this. They don't like his style. He doesn't accept the status quo. It is amazing to me. His first one -- what was it like in '17? I remember reporters coming to me and say, can you believe he's doing this? Can you believe it?
And I looked at them and I say, sure, I can. Because he said he would. So it's a refreshing voice in Washington, whether you agree with him or not. The thing about it is, he has come forward saying, you know, this situation, this don't look right to me. How can we fix it?
And as I've shared and you've talked about as well. It's amazing to me how such a deaf ear the Democrats have turned to a man who legitimately says, let's have some work together. Let's work on something.
His ideas on infrastructure would for most Republican orthodox would say, whoa, that's way too much, too fast. What did he say? He's like, come on, let's do this. And he scared them off.
They don't know how to deal with somebody who actually gets things done. I tell kids, I get to talk to kids a lot and I say this. I said, here was a young man who for all the things that you want to focus on and talk about him being bad.
You know, as President, he goes back to that time, when he looked across the river, he saw the Manhattan skyline and said, one day basically, I'm going to change that skyline. And he did it. That's what the American dream is about.
And now, he is President doing the same thing.
LEVIN: And he is going after the people have also tried to change that Manhattan skyline for the worse.
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
AISHAH HASNIE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Live from "America's News Headquarters," I'm Aishah Hasnie. The stage is being prepped for President Trump's impeachment trial which begins on Tuesday, but the head of the House Impeachment Managers is already firing serious accusations at the defense.
Congressman Adam Schiff claims that N.S.A. and the C.I.A. are withholding documents on Ukraine that could impact the trial. So far, no comment from either agency. The President's defense team meantime contends his pressure on Ukraine was not an impeachable act.
In the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu, Hawaii, a 70-year-old man suspected of stabbing his landlord opened fire on two responding police officers killing both of them.
The gunman reportedly then ran inside his home and set that on fire. The flames spread to neighboring homes. Police believe the suspect died in the fire.
I'm Aishah Hasnie, now back to "Life, Liberty & Levin".
LEVIN: Congressman Doug Collins. First there was Michael Cohen that he was going to deliver the President on campaign finance violation. Where is he today?
COLLINS: In jail.
LEVIN: He is prison. Then there was Michael Avenatti. Then his client Stormy Daniels and they were going to deliver the President to the Southern District of New York. I believe he's in jail today and he was on TV hundreds of times.
COLLINS: He was going to be President.
LEVIN: He was going to be President. So the media embraced Cohen, hoping - - hoping -- that he was their Savior. Then they embraced Avenatti. He was always sleazy. Everybody knew it. Now we have another one, Lev Parnas.
This Ukrainian gentleman who has been indicted by the Southern District of New York, same district, who is likely to serve time is my guess. He can't cut a deal. The Southern District New York is a tough district.
So all of a sudden, at the 11th hour, he's got unbelievable evidence. Like we've never seen before. Text messages, e-mails, voicemails.
First, he is under criminal investigation and the whole issue is under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice. The Democrats are saying, we have to be able to use this information in our Senate trial. What do you make of all this?
COLLINS: Well, I think it's another false hope for them. I mean, again, I'm describing this -- here's the case that you made. It's not good, you failed it. You couldn't get any leverage. You're not trying -- it is not going anywhere, and the people aren't buying it. So what do we do? Let's pull out the shiny object over here.
It was -- listen, information have been turned over to the House Intelligence Committee for over a week, and all of a sudden, this just released to the Judiciary Committee the night before.
LEVIN: Wait a minute, over a week?
COLLINS: Oh, yes.
LEVIN: And so they dramatically release it right before?
COLLINS: Yes, right before. We get our e-mail and it comes to us and we -- really, we got it the night before we went to the floor with the Articles of Impeachment when they were all talking about all this new evidence.
We -- these are literally thumb drives and stuff, and there's a lot of stuff that he has turned over. There's a lot. There is more to come. But it is just -- I mean, the man was a prolific user of his phone and other things.
We didn't have a chance to begin to even -- you know, we began to go through it with the Intel Committee and then with the Judiciary Committee, but again, what we're seeing here is nothing new that is being presented at this point.
But what we did see is if there's things that they did wrong that they're trying to bring up, as you pointed out, the Department of Justice is already investigating this. They're going to look into it even further, and if he has incriminated himself and other things, then he'll have to deal with that.
But also you forgot one. That was the whistleblower. The whistleblower was the -- you know, and remember -- and this is important because Speaker Pelosi -- Nancy Pelosi this week --
LEVIN: I just was listing the indicted ones, but anyway.
COLLINS: Yes, not only that, but this past week, when we did the Articles of Impeachment, she got on the floor again and pulled up what I call a Schiff. She pulled an Adam Schiff.
She purposely misrepresented what the President said on that phone call. And she did so with the intent knowing people were watching and she said that, do me a favor -- not what the transcript actually says, which is, I need you to do us a favor because our country has been through a lot.
Let's remind people. Just take two seconds here. July the 24th was the day of the Mueller hearing. That was going to be the end all and be all, as you just said. It was everything. That was there savior. That was going to be everything. We put everything into it and it was a flop. It was just -- it didn't show anything. It proved what we already knew, because we could actually read the report. We didn't need a live version of it.
That call happened the next day. The President had been -- who has been nothing but investigated and harassed his entire presidency -- said this because we know from previous investigation that I've been a part of, and as we looked into the Russia investigation, the Clinton investigate, we knew this was part.
So again, she misrepresented on the call. We know 18 days later, the whistleblower finally comes forward to the Inspector General. Then if you'll remember, this was in the middle of the bombshell in September. We have a whistleblower and we need him to testify and Speaker Pelosi said, let's testify.
And then all of a sudden they made a little mistake. Adam Schiff, all of a sudden became a fact witness. Talk about witnesses. Let's call Adam Schiff. He didn't need to be a lead manager. He need to be a witness. We should have had him.
Because his staff and him know who the whistleblower is. They did everything in their hearings to not let anybody know what's going on. They're holding a transcript from the Inspector General right now that is against the rules of the House.
But when we talk about this, they've will looked for every savior in the world to save their case that this President is bad. But you know, what I've been interested in is, every time they come up with it, because he has not done anything wrong, he has not done what they said, he continues to put his head down and keep moving forward.
This is just another example, I believe, of them desperately trying to save a case and not look like what history, I believe possibly will judge them is the most foolish case for impeachment, and the most tragic damage that has ever been done to the House.
LEVIN: This whistleblower issue race is crucially important, because I think if this so-called whistleblower, the C.I.A. operative, this Obama holdover, this Joe Biden sycophant, really, who had close ties to two staff members on Schiff's staff, all of whom have worked at the N.S.C. under Obama, and he met with at least one of them.
If we got to the bottom of that, then the American people would see the coup. They would see how this was organized. They would see who Adam Schiff is, what his staff was doing. How phony this complaint was that this individual filed, witness to nothing and was gathering information on the President of the United States.
I don't want any witnesses because the House had its shot and I think the Senate needs to shut this down. And we need to get these five Republicans on the record. Because, in my own view, if you support the Constitution and the Senate, you've got to control the House of Representatives. Not some phony trial, but as you call witnesses, the so-called whistleblower must be a witness. What do you think?
COLLINS: I don't think so. We've asked for him. We've asked for whoever this witness is to come forward. They started this. Okay. In conjunction with what we see now with the House Intelligence Committee, with Adam Schiff, who has been at war with this President on everything that we've seen so far. He has been counteractive to this and it's just --
This is the problematic place we're at in this country. You had Chairman Nadler who ran for his job based on I'm the best to handle impeachment. That was November in 2017. There was -- none of this was on the plate. Mueller was still, you know, thrashing around out there, but none of this - - the rest of this wasn't, but that's their mindset.
So yes, you've got to have fact witnesses. Why would we not want to have fact witnesses? Why would Chairman Nadler let the Judiciary Committee become a rubber stamp, which by the way, he predicted 20 years ago, when he said in the Clinton investigation, we should never take an outside sources work and just validate it because otherwise we would become a rubber stamp -- that's roughly what he said.
And I mention it many times in hearings, but yet he never responded to me. He simply made our committee a rubber stamp to whatever Adam Schiff's whims were and that's the reason we're in a situation where we are now.
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
LEVIN: You know, Congressman Collins, it is very interesting. The ends seem to justify the means when I listen to the propaganda and the narrative here.
On one hand, we're told it is political process, so anything goes. And you saw that throughout the House. It moves to the Senate, now we're thinking, now, wait a minute. This is an impartial process where justice must be done.
They need to call the witnesses. We insist that they call that we did not call, they cannot call Hunter Biden or the whistleblower because we didn't call them either, and we don't want them called. They must accept evidence that we apparently sat on for five or six days that we've now thrown over the transom, from an indicted potential felon who is looking for a deal with the Southern District of New York.
Political, impartial process, what is this process?
COLLINS: It's a combination, and it always is and you know, you mentioned impartiality, and remember, we talked about this. You know, the impartiality. It's funny that they question the impartiality of our senators, but they don't question the impartiality of those senators running for President or other --
LEVIN: So Democrats running for President who trashed the President who are now going to sit as jurors. You're saying the Democrats are talking about impartiality, why are they sitting?
COLLINS: Yes, let's at least call hypocrisy what it actually is, you know, because there's not a Democratic member of the Senate that has not spoken in the sense of against this President.
But to go back to your question, I think there is an interesting part. Everything that we do in the House and Senate is political and it is by inherent nature will be.
But what tames are political passions, and whether we'll see if you're a Democrat or Republican, is the fact that we come together as 435 members of the House, 100 members of the Senate, and we run our committees, we run our House procedures based on rules. House workplace has it. Everybody understands rules.
But when you get to the end justifying the means setup is what we've seen this past year. When you -- when I have a Chairman who shuts members down from actually making amendments in and tells us that they have to get bills to the floor. They have a timeline that they can't go so we can do our amendments.
When you have hearings that are set up where Adam Schiff says witnesses can't answer Republican questions. When you have it set up to where they control the evidence, they control the process.
When you have as I've mentioned earlier, a Speaker who says something she shouldn't say on the House, I call her on it. The Chair agree -- the parliamentarians agreed with me, but yet she had her members come down and overturn the punishment.
When you get to the point where you're more concerned about the end result than you are the rules, this is the part that if I sit back and if you and I were to have this conversation, say what's the most concerning part of this whole thing? The President is going to be cleared. I'm not worried about that. He's done nothing wrong.
What I am concerned about is what state have you left our House in? Because I have been one who actually worked across, got bills done, worked with his White House, worked with Democrats to do stuff for the American people.
But now this barrier of trust has been broken now, because there's no ability to believe that there's going to be any fairness in the process.
The American people need to understand when they hear us -- when they make fun of me talking about process, they're making fun of the very institution that they claim to love and that is the sad day that I just -- it just breaks my heart to say, I'm an institutionalist from that standpoint. The founders had it right and if we trash it for political expediency, then we're in deep trouble.
LEVIN: I'm concerned about holding a "trial" based on a corrupt unconstitutional process, at least make the effort to dismiss it. I want to ask you a question. Jerry Nadler? He's the Chairman of the committee, you're the Ranking Member. What's your relationship with him?
COLLINS: When we're in a committee probably not as good. I've known Chairman Nadler before he became Chairman and before I became Ranking Member. We worked together on some issues.
But what is concerning me the most this year is when it gets to the hearing. They brought in, you know, hired staff, you know, consultants on the outside that were only one thing and that is to get this President because they knew they had the platform to do it with the impeachment process.
And what concerned me is we saw it acted out, so personally he and I on the stage, we'll go at it. People seeing that all year, frankly I've gotten a better that a lot of times because when you're in the right, it's much easier to fight.
Off camera, everything else, he is an older gentleman who serve Congress a long time and we talk, we share family concerns and things. But that relationship at times has been strained this year.
LEVIN: So it's changed a little bit?
COLLINS: It has.
LEVIN: Do you have any relationship with Nancy Pelosi, you ever talk to her?
Lev Isn't it amazing, you the Speaker of the House -- what would you say to her if you spoke to her?
COLLINS: Good question because it never really has. I mean, we spoke -- you know, just what I call, from the south past pleasantries when we said hello, and stuff. We don't know each other that well, because there's not - - there hasn't been an opening, you know, to ever, you know, do so.
Even though we've worked on -- I've worked on bills with very partisan Democrats, Hakeem Jeffries is actually a dear friend of mine, you know, from a perspective of understanding.
I understand that he is from the very liberal Brooklyn. I'm from very conservative district in the State of Georgia, but we've gotten stuff done like criminal justice reform, other things, data privacy.
What's missing right now and it's really gotten strained is because of this continual destruction of our processes, destruction of our rules that it makes the American -- you know who loses in this? It's the American people. And that's the bottom line.
That's why I think that they have such a problem with this President, because he genuinely cares about people, and I think that's what's missing a lot from them. For those of us who've gotten to know him, and to see his heart and especially -- he ask questions. He has a very boisterous personality. He's big in life, because he tries to do big things.
The question is, why can't we come alongside and find ways to work with that? But instead, they understand one thing, the President is what they want, and I believe that the Speaker is willing to put the House on the line to get it, and she's done it again.
LEVIN: Folks, don't forget, most weeknights you can join me on Levin TV, just give us a call 844-LEVIN-TV, 844-LEVIN-TV or go to blazetv.com/mark, blazetv.com/mark and we'll be right.
LEVIN: You know, Congressman Collins, they keep talking about further impeachments which is really appalling. They hold the House and take the Senate. Donald Trump wins the presidency. What are they going to do?
COLLINS: Yes, I think that's why that every person out there and especially for those of us who believe what this President has done, what we've seen happen over the last, you know, three years and going into four and we see what's going into an election is if you gave the Democrats the power in the House, and we've seen this just complete abdication of governance, this complete abdication of rules and a self-determined position to get at the President.
If you gave that same, you know, power in the House and to the Senate to Chuck Schumer, then A, it would be, they would run this thing through and if they control the House and the Senate right now, you would be removing the President if they were controlling for nothing, for absolutely having policy differences.
And that's the thing that came out of these hearings the whole time. I remember when they had the witnesses Kent and Taylor and the others, and they give their pedigree for being in the State Department. I don't care about your pedigree in the State Department.
When, you know Colonel Vindman, who actually when pushed, he said, well, it's just -- I disagree with the policies. This is what you would find. So the American people need to realize in this environment we're in, with this partisanship and especially with what the Democrats have portrayed themselves out over the past year, this could be a real concern, because everything that we've done, everything that is going well in our country, especially our economy, our foreign affairs, our jobs, those kind of things would be in real jeopardy because they have one desire, get rid of this President.
LEVIN: You know, it's amazing to me. In the last week or so, the President of the United States takes out the number one terrorist on the planet. He's attacked by the Democrats and the media.
Surely before that, he took out the head of ISIS. It's yawnsville. He is taking on China, economically, and militarily, through his trade deals and through other activities, like China has never been taken on before.
He's trying a completely different way in dealing with North Korea, past administrations cut and run on North Korea. They gave them what they wanted. They pretend they're being tough. This man says, let me talk to this guy, and yet, he's called a warmonger.
His dealings with Russia. This has always amazed me. Russia collusion, who do you think the Russians are rooting for in this next election? Donald Trump who has really handed them their lunch, or Bernie Sanders, or Joe Biden, who would surrender these people overnight?
He is trying to uphold immigration law, being turned back by Obama judges. He's trying to uphold immigration laws, and secure the border to protect the American people and keep opioids out of here.
Your point. This is why they're trying to get rid of him. They can't beat him.
COLLINS: That's right.
LEVIN: On the issues, isn't that correct?
COLLINS: I believe it truly is. And I think, you know, you mentioned immigration, we're not talking about you know, if the Democrats have the desire, then work with us to form and reform our immigration system. We can talk about that.
But what the President is saying, I'm just going to simply enforce the law. We don't need to be going around and circumvent this. We have a situation, we have a problem. Our national security is at risk.
And also our economy needs to be, you know, bolstered. He is doing those things. The overseas issues. As someone who served in Iraq, who saw what Soleimani did through his proxies and others who actually watched, you know, men and women lying in bed with body parts missing and others because of what he did it.
When you look at he took out Baghdadi, where's the same jubilation when we took out -- when Obama took out bin Laden? When all of these discussion, nobody was talking about issues there, when we know that the Democrats were talking about those kind of things? They just don't like it because this man is successful. He is doing what he said he would do, and they can't beat him.
LEVIN: And by the way, I want to thank you. You were a Chaplain in Iraq.
LEVIN: Thank you. We'll be right back.
LEVIN: Congressman Collins, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
COLLINS: Well, even after all we've been through in this past year, I'm very optimistic. I see a future this bright because the American people have the greatest gift in the world that's the freedom and liberty that we have still enshrined in the Constitution.
We take a beating every once in a while, and political whims do rise. But at the heart of it, I believe the nation is a fair nation.
But also I see what's happening from a conservative's point of view, and I see what the President is trying to do. And I believe if we go out and we share with the American people what they're empowered to do, when they see their ability to get up in the morning and go to work and take care of their families. They're not concerned about Washington, they're concerned about their kids getting to school. They're concerned about a good education. They're concerned about jobs.
When we go out and we share with the world that we have a strong vision of peace through strength, when we do the things that we need to do, and we empower people. That's something to get excited about.
I want to see all conservatives, I want to see our side make the case like the President and saying we believe in you. Let's have criminal justice reform. Let's raise the bar for everybody. When we do that. I'm really excited. I think the best days are always ahead.
LEVIN: Best days are ahead. Not always challenges, right?
COLLINS: Every day. Wouldn't it be good if we won?
LEVIN: And life full of challenges and we got some real challenges today. It's been a great honor.
COLLINS: It's such an honor. Pleasure.
LEVIN: Thank you, sir. Good day. Don't forget to join us next time on "Life, Liberty & Levin."
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