The impeachment of President Donald Trump could set a “new standard” that leads to more future presidents being impeached when an opposing party controls Congress, according United States Rep. John Rose.
The first-term Republican Congressman, who represents more than a dozen counties in Tennessee including Sumner, visited the Connection last month to talk about why he voted against the articles of impeachment in December, along with his support for the recent killing of a top Iranian general in Iraq.
Rose defended President Trump’s handling of a July telephone call with the president of the Ukraine and temporary withholding of military aid to the county which ultimately led to the United States House of Representatives impeachment inquiry last fall.
During the conversation, President Trump asked for an investigation into several issues that also included “looking into” a lucrative Ukrainian energy company board appointment for former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, according to a declassified memorandum of the call released by the White House.
Rose said the president has a “legal obligation to be careful” when providing aid to foreign counties, which includes making sure the Ukraine is “doing enough to combat corruption.”
“The president was calling on an investigation,” Rose added. “He did not predetermine the outcome of the investigation.
“There is ample evidence to suggest that prior presidents have used exactly the same approach when it comes to dispensing U.S. foreign aid.”
In December, the Democrat-controlled House passed two articles of impeachment – one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of Congress. Rose, along with every other Republican the House, voted against both.
In addition to his opposition to impeachment, Rose also discussed during his visit why he believes the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Iraq last month was justified.
While much of the information is still classified, Rose said there was “ample evidence” that Soleimani was involved with helping coordinate new attacks that were being planned in the region.
“The president needed to do something,” Rose added. “We needed to send a message to the Iranians that their continued meddling in Middle Eastern affairs and destabilizing of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and the terrorist sponsorship that they’ve directed towards Israel would not continue to be tolerated.”
The Congressman voted against a House resolution last month aimed at limiting President Trump’s war powers against Iran. The resolution was ultimately approved by the Democratic-held chamber in a 224-194 vote on Jan. 9.
As for the future, Rose said there is still “a lot that needs to get done” this year in Congress despite 2020 being an election year.
“From my perspective, (we need to continue) to find ways to limit the scope and scale of the federal government, get our deficit spending under control (and) deal with entitlements that are now driving in large measure government spending,” he said.
U.S. Rep. John Rose represents Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District, which includes Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White and Wilson as well as portion of Cheatham and Van Buren counties. He lives in Cookeville with his wife Chelsea and their son Guy.