WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Doug Collins took the lead for Republicans once again as the U.S. House debated the impeachment of President Donald Trump for what is likely the last time.
The Senate now is in possession of the charges and will begin its trial next week to decide whether Trump should be removed from office.
In remarks on the House floor ahead of a party-line vote to charge the president with two offenses, Collins repeated his critique that Democrats were fueled by partisanship and disdain for Trump in bringing these charges against him.
“It was a political impeachment,” the Gainesville native said. “They said, ‘he’s impeached for life.’ This shows the true motivation, I believe, of the other side. It’s their dislike for this president and the good work he’s doing.”
U.S. Sen. David Perdue struck a similar tone in a statement he sent after the articles of impeachment were delivered on Wednesday evening.
“While these two articles are totally illegitimate, Leader (Mitch) McConnell is prepared to conduct a fair trial in the U.S. Senate and get back to work for the American people,” he said. “Ultimately, our goal is to handle this as quickly as possible.”
Seven impeachment managers selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hand-delivered the impeachment documents to the Senate, walking past hordes of reporters and staffers who gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to watch the procession.
There is a chance Collins could have an official role during the trial as a member of Trump’s defense team, although nothing has been confirmed. In the past few weeks, Collins has assisted White House attorneys in preparing their case and he is open to doing more.
“We would happily help him in this regard and because we know the case as well as anyone in the country,” Collins said. “But that's up for the President to decide.”
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, posted on Twitter that he commended Pelosi for selecting these three women and four men who will serve as prosecutors during the trial set to begin next week.
“Looks like a #DreamTeam to me,” he wrote.
Senators will be sworn in on Thursday and the impeachment trial is set to begin on Tuesday.
Collins’ in his floor remarks also said he hopes the Senate, led by Republicans, treats Trump more fairly than he believes the Democratic-controlled House did.
Every House GOP member voted against moving forward with a trial, with most claiming the process has been divisive and unproductive.
“The American people and our President deserve better,” U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, who lives in Ranger, said afterward. “It’s time to put these partisan exercises aside, stop trying to overturn the will of the American people, and get back to work.”
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