Retiring Florida Republican to vote 'no' on articles of impeachment

Retiring Florida Republican to vote 'no' on articles of impeachment
© Greg Nash

Rep. Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Gohmert tests positive; safety fears escalate on Capitol Hill Pelosi to require masks on House floor Rooney becomes first House Republican to use proxy voting system MORE (Fla.), one of the few Republicans who was on the fence about impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE, is expected to vote against the two articles of impeachment that House Democrats have brought against the president. 

"The impeachment of a President is among the most somber votes that any Member of Congress can take," Rooney said Wednesday. "The process should not be rushed or based on an artificial timeline, nor should it be partisan or incomplete."

He added: “Based on the limited evidence provided to the House of Representatives, the President’s behavior, while inappropriate, was neither criminal, nor does it rise to the level of justifying impeachment."

ADVERTISEMENT

The Florida congressman, who is slated to retire at the end of this term, had said that he hadn't made any final decisions on how he would vote.

"I'm still thinking about it, but I just can't see something as critical as impeachment without going through a more thorough process than what I've seen so far,” he told The Hill on Tuesday, one day before an expected House floor vote on the articles.

Rooney also told CNN on Tuesday that he was “disturbed by the pre-factual judgment” of his fellow GOP lawmakers supporting the Ukrainian interference narrative — a claim that has become a major talking point for the president and his allies — without facts to back it up.

“No intel people on our side of things have corroborated any Ukrainian influence in the 2016 campaign,” he told the network.

It is widely accepted by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, not Ukraine.

The House convened Wednesday to debate the articles of impeachment brought forward by House Democrats. A floor vote is expected later in the day. 

Juliegrace Brufke contributed to this report.