Roe votes against 'Soviet-style' impeachment process

Robert Houk • Nov 1, 2019 at 12:00 AM

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City, said Thursday he “proudly voted against this Soviet-style impeachment inquiry” of President Donald Trump.

The 1st District congressman was one of 194 Republicans and two Democrats who voted against a resolution in the U.S. House that establishes rules and procedures for the impeachment hearings.

Roe issued a statement saying he “won’t stand for this outrageous process,” which echoed the same criticisms from his GOP colleagues and the president of the rules put in place by the Democratic leaders of the House.

That resolution, which was approved in a vote of 232-196, establishes a procedure similar to that used during the open-door impeachment proceedings of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Roe and other Republicans, however, argued the rules are stacked against Trump.

“In Soviet Russia, people would be punished and then find out their crime,” Rose said in statement his office released shortly after Thursday’s House vote. “That’s not how justice works in America, but it’s what the Democrats are trying to do.

“Today, they asked me to give my constituents’ blessing to the sham process that has already occurred and their approval to continue their closed-door, secret investigation in which the outcome is already decided, no matter the evidence.”

The congressman said a more fair and transparent process would be one that gives Republicans the right to subpoena witnesses without the authorization of the committee chairman.

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said on Fox News she believes the House impeachment vote was being taken because Democrats have “caught so much flak for doing this kangaroo court in (U.S. Rep.) Adam Schiff’s basement and people not being able to have some visibility into who they’re calling, what those are saying, by being able to question those witnesses.”

She also said the impeachment inquiry has not hurt Trump’s popularity in Tennessee.

“When you get out in the heartland, when you talk to Tennesseans, they are so happy,” Blackburn told Fox News host Shannon Bream. “They are very pleased with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. They are going to be re-elected.”