The Johnson City congressman also told reporters on conference call Friday he expects impeachment hearings to be “a lot of something about nothing.”
Roe said he had read the five-page transcript of Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, but had not yet read the whistleblower’s complaint that the House Intelligence Committee released on Thursday.
That complaint, which was declassified with several redactions, refers to the Trump’s phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart in which he asks why that country's top prosecutor had ended an investigation of the business dealings of Joe Biden’s son. The whistleblower alleges that “the president's personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure” in pressuring Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, and that “Attorney General (William) Barr appears to be involved as well.”
Roe said he expects the upcoming House inquiries into the matter to be partisan, and said he “isn’t sure how this sideshow will play out.” At the same time, Roe said he was “anxious” to see all the information on the incident.
“I’m not going to impeach the president because of a phone conversation,” he said.
Roe said he believes Pelosi, D-Calf., called for the impeachment hearings after “she got so much pressure from her left wing.” He said Pelosi was a member of the House in 1998 when President Bill Clinton was impeached.
“That didn’t go well for Republicans,” Roe said, noting the GOP lost its majority in the House in the next election.
The congressman said he was troubled the House speaker had not actually read the whistleblower’s complaint when she called for impeachment earlier in the week.
“She should have had all the information,” Roe said.
The congressman said he fears the fallout over the Trump’s call to Ukrainian president could “resonate” whenever a member of Congress speaks with a foreign leader. He said such dialogues could become more guarded and less productive.
Roe also said he is confident Americans are “smart enough” to read the transcripts of the president’s phone call and the whistleblower’s complaint and make up their own minds if impeachment is warranted.