Roe: 'Time to move on from Mueller Report'

Zach Vance • Mar 28, 2019 at 5:32 PM

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe believes it is time for the country to move on from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“I think it probably said what many people had thought, and what the House had concluded. The House Intelligence Committee had done its report and came to the exact same conclusion,” Roe said about Mueller’s report, which found President Donald Trump’s campaign did not collude with the Russians.

“I think it’s time to move on. We’ve wasted enough time on this.”

While speaking to reporters during a conference call Thursday, the sixth-term congressman also criticized the special counsel for his selection of 19 lawyers, none of which, according to Roe, “had ever donated a penny to a Republican.”

“Many of them had donated sizable amounts of money to Democrats,” Roe said. “If I had been Mueller, I would have put together a different team.”

Roe also slammed the use of the “fake, politically motivated” Steele dossier as the basis to get a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA court, to spy on an American citizen.

“Using a fake, politically motivated dossier to basically spy on an American citizen. I don’t know if that’s ever happened before, and I tell you, it has to stop because I’m not voting for another Patriot Act that has the FISA Court in it unless we get those abuses corrected,” Roe said.

“If you flipped this around and had President Trump doing this to someone, there would be outrage as there should be. So I don’t think the investigation is over. I think, as far as the Mueller report, I’m ready personally to move on and get to the issues that are important to the American people.”

Transgender Military Vote

Just minutes before he went to cast his vote in opposition to a Democratic resolution that “expressed opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals,” Roe explained his reasoning.

The resolution came in response to the Trump administration deciding it would implement a policy next month requiring members of the military to serve as the gender they were assigned at birth.

“It’s no different than the policy it is for anything else. You can’t get in the military if you have a bunion right now. (There are) literally hundreds of things that disqualify you from a physical standpoint of military service. So this is no different than anything else,” said Roe, who joined 184 House Republicans in opposing the Democratic-supported resolution.

In describing the policy, apparently crafted by former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Roe said the 900 military members who identify as transgender can still serve “in their biologic sex.”

Individuals with gender dysphoria must be stable for 36 months prior to joining the military and be willing to serve as their biologic sex, Roe said, while adding that medical transition treatment, cross-sex hormone therapy and sexual reassignment would disqualify individuals from military service.

VA Missions Act

The ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Roe said the rollout of the VA Mission Act should begin around June 6.

The extensive legislation, signed into law last year, would improve veterans’ access to non-VA health care if distance to a VA facility or wait lists are an issue.

Another portion of the bill would pay for post-9/11 veterans, who have a service-connected severe injury, to have a caregiver. Roe said that program has been delayed because of an “IT” glitch.

“The VA Is having a terrible problem with its IT system, but once that is up and going, we’ll begin rolling that much-needed program out,” Roe said.