The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee sent its Democratic chair a troll-y letter expressing concern that committee members might break certain House rules when it holds its hearing next week on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Ranking member Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) pointed specifically a House rule barring “Personal abuse, innuendo, or ridicule of the President.” The letter seemed to preview what Republicans may harp on during the hearing, which will include testimony from Watergate figure John Dean.
Collins requested that Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) remind committee members of the rule before Monday’s hearing, which Collins alleged appeared to be “part of a strategy to turn the Committee’s oversight hearings into a mock-impeachment inquiry rather than a legitimate exercise in congressional oversight.”
“Conducting such hearings inevitably sets this Committee on a collision course with the longstanding Rules of the House, which you have apparently alluded to as recently as this week,” Collins said.
His letter rattled off a number of comments about the President— such as, that he is a liar, crook, a draft-dodger, and a racist — that Collins claimed would break this rule.
“Finally, and most timely, the title of this hearing, if read during debate, would tread alarmingly close to the prohibition against engaging in personalities against the President due to its mere suggestion the President committed ‘obstruction [of justice] and other crimes,'” Collins said.
Under Collins’ interpretation of the rules, the only way Nadler can get away this restriction on this kind of rhetoric is to open a formal impeachment inquiry — something that Nadler is reportedly lobbying a reluctant Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to do.
“Should you choose to forego your obligation to enforce the Rules and ensure the Committee conducts itself in a dignified manner, please know those transgressions will not go unnoticed or unremarked upon by Republican Members,” Collins said.
Read the letter below: