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Watch GOP Ranking Member of House Judiciary Make Case for Democrats to Start Trump Impeachment Hearings

If Chairman Jerold Nadler was to initiate impeachment, said Rep. Doug Collins, "he would have access to all kinds of documents."

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) speaks during a committee hearing.

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) speaks during a committee hearing. (Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

A top House GOP leader Thursday told Democrats Thursday that they should impeach the president.

In an interview with MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, said that if Democrats want the opportunity to ask administration officials like Attorney General William Barr tough questions, they should bring articles of impeachment against the president. 

But Collins doesn't think the majority party has the courage to do that.  

"They wanted it to play out this way because they want it to look like an impeachment hearing," said Collins. "But they don't have the fortitude to bring impeachment."

Barr refused to testify in front of the committee Thursday morning, apparently in reaction to committee Democrats' intention to have staff attorneys question him. The attorney general also did not abide by a subpoena from committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) for the full, un-redacted Mueller Report. 

Collins said that using staff attorneys was a major break from precedent from regular hearings and told Hunt that if Democrats wanted to go down that road, they should take the next step and go for impeachment.

According to Collins, impeachment is the easiest way to have unfettered access to the materials Democrats want.

"If [Nadler] would bring impeachment hearings," said Collins, "he would have access to all kinds of documents, irregardless (sic) of what the attorney general's accommodations have already made for him."

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