During a rally in Buford on Monday that evoked the "deep state" conspiracy theory and allegations of hidden material on a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden as well as attacks on House Democrats, U.S. Rep. Doug Collins called for the ouster of FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Collins appeared at the rally with Roger Stone — an ally of President Donald Trump whose prison sentence for a conviction on charges of making false statements to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering was commuted by the president in July — on the eve of the special election where the congressman from Gainesville is challenging Sen. Kelly Loeffler for her seat in the U.S. Senate.
Among the many things Collins evoked was the allegations that a laptop computer, which Republicans claim contains incriminating evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden's son, Hunter, exists but has been hidden.
"I'll you what, the FBI, it's time for Chris Wray to resign," Collins said. "I've been calling for it for several months now. If the FBI can open up an investigation into people riding around in trucks with Trump flags around a Joe Biden bus, then it's time to open up an investigation into a hard drive."
Collins is vying with Loeffler to face Democrat Raphael Warnock in an expected runoff for the Senate seat, which Loeffler was appointed to nearly a year ago after former Sen. Johnny Isakson retired mid-term. The appointment was to last until the special election could be held to determine who would serve the remaining two years of Isakson's term.
Polls have Warnock in the lead in the 21-person field, with Loeffler and Collins close in the battle to make the runoff.
Supporters said Loeffler, who has attempted to paint herself as the "true conservative" in the race, pales in comparison to Collins' record in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"We need someone to represent Georgia values, not Buckhead values, and Doug is Trump's pit bull," Debbie Dooley, one of the founders of the Tea Party movement in Georgia, said.
Stone echoed the calls to remove Fray when he called for replacing unnamed officials in the government who he claimed were loyal to a "deep state." He attacked the charges he was convicted by a federal jury on, calling it a "witch hunt" and a "Soviet-style trial."
The charges were an outgrowth of the House investigations into the Mueller report into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
He also altered the last names of Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, including calling Rep. Eric Swalwell "Eric Swallows Well" and making a veiled comparison between Rep. Adam Schiff's last name and a vulgar term for a bowel movement.
Stone used that as a basis for his argument that Collins is a better candidate than Loeffler to represent Republican values in the Senate.
"You have an opportunity to put a bulldog in the Senate," Stone said. "You have an opportunity to put a fighter in the Senate. You have an opportunity to take a man who will take down the deep state, who will expose the corruption in our Justice Department, in our FBI, in our Central Intelligence Agency, in our national security apparatus, to replace those who are loyal to the deep state and the Obama-Clinton legacy and replace them with patriotic Americans who will put America first."
Collins' stop in the Buford was the last in a series of visits by candidates for national offices to Gwinnett. In a span of just over one week: Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who is challenging Sen. David Perdue for his Senate seat, appeared together at a Democratic rally in Duluth; Perdue's wife, Bonnie, appeared in the Duluth area as well with former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders; Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democrats nominee for vice president, visited Gwinnett; and Loeffler made two visits to the county before Collins' rally.
Democrats have argued Gwinnett is key to their plans for flipping Georgia, but Collins said it is important for Republicans as well.
"Gwinnett's a great county," he said. "It's a county with a lot of Republican voters in it. It is a transitioning county, but it's one of the larger counties in the state so we want to be here to make our case the day before the election."