Francis Rooney voting against impeachment
Francis Rooney

Francis Rooney
He's the last Republican in the House to announce how he will vote.

U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney is voting against articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

“I’m gonna vote against it,” Rooney told Florida Politics. “Like I’ve said several times, I’m concerned about this becoming more of a political process than a process destined to find justice and truth.

“Impeachment is so heavy of a situation for the country; there should be a more exhaustive process than what we are doing.”

With the Naples Republican siding against the action, that means likely every member of the House Republican caucus will vote against impeaching the President.

Rooney said he has tried to keep an open mind throughout the process, and that he personally felt no pressure regarding his vote.

He has spoken in recent days with two former White House counsel and conducted exhaustive research on the process. By his judgment, actions by the President do not rise to impeachable offenses.

But he’s most concerned the impeachment inquiry prioritized a rapid conclusion over gathering all evidence. Rooney this month stated that the White House should provide several material witnesses to Trump’s interactions with Ukraine. Those include Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, and former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

“I’m sure there’s others,” Rooney said.

And he still feels troubled by several actions by Trump and those around him.

“He shouldn’t have bullied the Ukrainian President,” Rooney said of Trump. “ And he shouldn’t have sent Rudy Giuliani over there acting like he was Deputy Secretary of State.”

Before serving in Congress, Rooney served as Ambassador to the Holy See.

Rooney would still like the Senate to demand Giuliani and others testify. But he doubts that will happen.

The entire process has been rushed beyond Rooney’s liking. Rooney served as a Senate intern during Watergate hearings, he said, and feels there was much more effort to gather all facts before taking any vote.

“We don’t have anything near that gravitas around this process,” he said.

Scrutiny has grown around Rooney’s vote on impeachment since he publicly criticized statements by White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. In a press conference, Mulvaney effectively acknowledged a quid pro quo tying Ukraine foreign aid to an investigation involving former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, then walked the statement back.

“It’s not an Etch-A-Sketch,” Rooney said in October. “The only thing I can assume is, he meant what he had to say — that there was a quid pro quo on this stuff.”

Rooney said he would consider all evidence presented in a House investigation of whether Trump abused his power in pursuit of damaging information on a political rival.

But while he supported the early investigation, Rooney voted against the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry.

While today’s resolution opens the way the hearings will be conducted in many ways, which is an improvement, the process is still less open to having all sides represented than prior impeachments,” he said at the time.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


3 comments

  • Christopher Kennard

    December 18, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    If we are to retain anything near having a free and open country, based upon a solid moral, ethical basis that does not permit the rise of a strong arm dictator as Trump seems to wanna be . . . then the facts need to be examined and weighed appropriately . . . if both impeachment and removal appears to be warranted, then in this case Trump must be removed!

    As an Independent Voter . . . I find myself appealing to both Democrats and Republican voters to push their elected representatives to permit full disclosure and witness testimony . . . so no one is above the law and the general public will not unduly questioned the verdict of the U.S. Senate’s votes.

    On the other hand, if this is not a full, fair, impartial and thorough investigation by the Senate, and instead becomes a rush to an unjust dismissal of Trump’s alleged crimes . . . then let there be hell come paying a call upon both houses . . . Democrat and Republican, alike.

    Come election day, there will be a reckoning as we sweep out the inept and corrupt and r
    replace them with honest public officials who have retained the moral compass and personal, professional and political integrity.

  • Emmy Young

    December 18, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    It is very concerning that elected officials have chosen so blatantly to disregard the facts over party loyalty. I have long maintained that “party” politics have eliminated the “best” candidates from being elected to office and have long stifled the progress possible for the country to move forward in a positive endeavor for its population. The country as a democracy was established for “We the People”. This has been sadly replaced by “me and my re-election”. I can only hope and pray that the Senators who consistently wear “blinders” can begin to focus on seeking truth and justice and begin to represent their oath of office. The cover-up, the lying, the corruption must come to an end. The majority of the country is not fooled by the actions of so many and the disrespect for elected officials has been on a steady escalation.

  • Chuck

    December 18, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Mr. Rooney’s thoughtful consideration was, as usual, window dressing. He’s one of Trump’s sheep.

Comments are closed.


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