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Roe says he's 'moving on' from impeachment vote

Robert Houk • Dec 20, 2019 at 12:00 AM

The morning after President Donald Trump became the third American president to be impeached, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, said he “needed some cooling off” from the historic daylong debate and vote in Congress.

“This is the first morning I haven’t gone to the prayer breakfast,” the Johnson City lawmaker told reporters Thursday on a conference call from Washington, D.C.

Roe voted “no” on both articles of impeachment in the U.S. House on Wednesday night. The congressman joined his fellow Republicans in calling the impeachment process a “sham” and a “charade.”

“We are going to move on,” Roe said. “I’m having trouble in moving on from that.”

He said Democrats failed to prove Trump had committed any high crimes or misdemeanors. 

“There was no crime ever mentioned,” Roe told reporters. “The one obstruction of Congress mentioned ... every president in my memory did exactly what Trump did. Then you let the courts decide.”

Under the parameters House Democrats established for Trump, Roe said “you could impeach every president.”

Roe also said he has “no earthly idea” why U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., would want to delay sending the two articles of impeachment to the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate for trial. Roe said he had just spoken to Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida., who told him he thinks the Senate “will move right on with it.”

The congressman said delaying what GOP leaders say should be a speedy trial and acquittal “makes no sense” to him.

“The impeachment was dumb, and that’s even dumber,” he said.

Roe also told reporters on Thursday his congressional office has received few calls from constituents on the impeachment vote.

“There were more press in the chamber than people watching us,” Roe said. “And last night, when we voted to remove a president of the United States, the chamber was not full. The gallery was not full.”

The congressman said that was not the case for other important votes that he has been involved with, such as the Affordable Health Care Act in 2009.

“I thought, there’s a message here,” Roe said of Wednesday’s impeachment vote. “The American people are not paying attention to this. They think it’s a bunch of inside-the-beltway Washington nonsense that doesn’t effect them.”

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