This lone House Republican might've voted for impeachment — but now his position is a perplexing mess
Although most conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives have been in lockstep in their unwavering opposition to impeaching President Donald Trump, Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida was one Republican who insisted that he was keeping an open mind. But ultimately, Rooney announced that he would be voting “no” on both of the articles of impeachment brought against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. And MSNBC’s Heidi Przybyla, in a Twitter thread, offers a detailed analysis of Rooney’s decision.
Przybyla delves into some reasons why House Democrats hoped Rooney would vote with them. Rooney, Przybyla notes, asserted that Trump’s conduct “is not good” — for example, his attacks on diplomat Marie Yovanovitch. Rooney said that he was taking impeachment “very seriously” and did “exhaustive” research on Watergate as well as President Bill Clinton’s 1990s impeachment. And he asserted that Trump aides need to testify before the Senate.
NEWS: Rep. Rooney, R-FL, voting against impeachment, says TRUMP AIDES SHOULD TESTIFY BEFORE THE SENATE 👉Via… https://t.co/CORwFABdsw— Heidi Przybyla (@Heidi Przybyla)1576693542.0
When Rooney was asked if it would be OK for a hypothetical “President Joe Biden” to ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for an investigation of Ivanka Trump, Przybyla notes in her Twitter thread, the congressman replied, “All these are very bad precedents.”
Rooney, in contrast to all the Republicans who have acted as though possible Russian interference in the 2020 election is not a problem, asserted, “We ought to be getting after those Russians for trying to influence our election.”
@NBCNews On Trump: “The guy’s conduct is not good,” he said, citing “beating up” on Yovanovitch, Zelensky & depreca… https://t.co/EGNgw8ucmo— Heidi Przybyla (@Heidi Przybyla)1576693610.0
@NBCNews Even if that process delays testimony through the next election, Congress needs to “slow down” and get all… https://t.co/9Xic6cv5fc— Heidi Przybyla (@Heidi Przybyla)1576693696.0
But when all was said and done, Przybyla points out, Rooney wouldn’t vote for either of the articles of impeachment against Trump.
Przybyla’s thread has inspired a lot of reactions on Twitter. @Nolan_Waters87 wrote, “He’s voting no, but yet, he thinks Trump needs to let his admin folks testify? One of the impeachment articles is obstruction of Congress; wouldn’t a yes vote do more to get folks to testify than a no vote?”
@Anime_Now90 posted that Rooney “lost me as soon as he said he’s voting against the articles of impeachment,” and @coloradodemruby wrote that Rooney’s actions recalled Sen. Susan Collins during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings. According to @coloradodemruby, “His speech was so Collins on Kavanaugh...big grandstanding and then...but sorry, I still am party over country.
@georginapond1 characterized Rooney’s position as “He’s guilty as hell, but I’m still not going to vote to impeach him.” And @Bugsrabil tweeted, “Looks like his conscience is telling him one thing, but his cowardice is telling him another.”
@HeidiNBC @BradMossEsq @NBCNews He lost me as soon as he said he’s voting against the articles of impeachment.— Anime_Now (@Anime_Now)1576694016.0
@HeidiNBC @BeverlyJCampbe1 @NBCNews That's sooo wishy washy.— Slygrammy5 🌊💝🎉😎👣😳 (@Slygrammy5 🌊💝🎉😎👣😳)1576695219.0
@Justice31104330 @HeidiNBC @NBCNews His speech was so Collins on Kavanaugh...big grandstanding and then...but sorry… https://t.co/4K3B8qMbOM— demruby (@demruby)1576694138.0
@HeidiNBC @NBCNews IMO these republicans shouldn’t be given the honor and privilege of representing our citizens in… https://t.co/qSktUKvnNw— Derek Alan (@Derek Alan)1576693699.0