GOP congressman starts off Whitaker hearing with unhinged table-pounding rant: 'This hearing is pointless!'
Rep. Doug Collins (CSPAN2)

The ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee tried to shut down a hearing with acting attorney general Matt Whitaker with a table-pounding rant against his Democratic colleagues.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) started out his opening statement by blasting committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) for threatening to subpoena Whitaker to compel testimony related to his conversations with President Donald Trump.

"Yesterday was nothing but pure political theater, it was wonderful!" Collins said. "It was a time for hide and seek. The chairman had a hearing, let's do a subpoena, we're going to stand tough!"

Collins complained that Democrats wanted to question Whitaker, who has served as acting attorney general since November, in lieu of confirmation hearings he never underwent.

"If my friend on the other side of this aisle wanted to do a confirmation hearing, they ought to do it up front," Collins said, "and if they want to do a confirmation hearing on senators, run for Senate. This is not a confirmation hearing, this is a Department of Justice oversight hearing, supposedly -- oops, I'm sorry, back to theatrics again. The curtain opened up and we found out what's going on. No, we want to damage the president."

"This hearing is pointless!" he shouted.