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John Rutherford accuses Democrats of helping Kremlin with their impeachment

Somewhere in Russia right now Putin is laughing at us, Rutherford said.

Republican U.S. Rep. John Rutherford told the House Wednesday that it is the Democrats who are assisting Russia President Vladimir Putin‘s strategy to polarize and paralyze America by pursuing a purely partisan impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Rutherford, of Jacksonville, called the impeachment a sham as have his GOP colleagues in Wednesday’s floor debate of the two articles of impeachment they are to vote on tonight.

He took a different tact than most of the Republicans, acknowledging a point that Democrats have been trying to own, and turning it against Democrats by accusing them of doing Putin’s bidding for Trump’s entire term as President so far.

“President Putin and his cronies have been Russia have been waging war on our elections with the goal of sewing discord and division in America. Do you think it has been successful?” Rutherford said.

“Somewhere in Russia right now Putin is laughing at us today. The majority has given him exactly what he wants: a divided America with pure partisan politics, with nasty rhetoric at an all-time high,” he said. “And some already across the aisle are discrediting the results of future elections. Already! It seems to Americans that for the past three years the House majority has been carrying out the wishes of the Kremlin.”

Rutherford, who served a career in law enforcement culminating with 12 years as Duval County Sheriff, insisted there are “not one element of a crime to find” in Trump’s actions.

That “disgraces the integrity of our democracy,” he concluded.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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