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Doug Collins named top Republican on Judiciary Committee
Doug Collins.jpg
Doug Collins.

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, has been named ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, a role that will make him a key player in preventing a possible investigation of President Donald Trump.

“The Judiciary Committee’s jurisdiction runs deep and wide, and I’ve been committed to advancing the conservative agenda as a member of the committee since day one,” Collins said in a statement. “It’s been an honor to legislate with my House colleagues and earn their trust. As ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, I look forward to the hard battles and noble work before us.”

Collins said one priority of Republicans on the committee will be defending Trump against threats of an investigation, a move that the Gainesville Republican said would be an “overreach” but has been alluded to by Democrats.

Democrats gained control of the House in the Nov. 6 midterms, forcing Collins to switch his bid away from chairman of the committee and run for ranking member instead. Even with Democrats controlling the House, Collins said he hopes the two parties can work together.

“If they want to actually legislate, we can do something that is good for the American people, then I assure we will be doing that as well,” Collins told The Times Friday.

He said he expects issues like criminal justice reform and intellectual property to be sources of common ground for the committee.

“It really depends on what the Democrats want to do,” Collins said. “If they want to waste their time on (an investigation), then we’ll meet them and defeat them on that. If they want to work together to find some legislative solutions, we’ll be there for that as well.”

Collins, a Gainesville native, was first elected to Congress in 2013 and was reelected Nov. 6 to represent Georgia’s 9th District. He was formerly a pastor at Chicopee Baptist Church and also worked as a lawyer. As a U.S. Air Force Reserve chaplain, he was deployed in Iraq in 2008 and 2009.

Collins also serves on the House Rules Committee.