SOUTH FLORIDA — Florida Keys Congressman Carlos Gimenez was among a handful of Florida elected representatives last week who voted against certifying the results of the Electoral College and it was unclear on Monday how he would vote on a proposal to impeach President Donald Trump.
Several congressional leaders have started the process of impeaching Trump following the deadly, violent riots at the U.S. Capitol in what many have called an attempted insurrection.
The recently elected Gimenez and fellow Republican Congressman Mario Diaz Balart of Miami voted in favor of decertifying Nov. 3 Arizona election results.
Gimenez also voted against certifying the results in Pennsylvania, as did Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida. Florida’s other U.S. senator, Republican Marco Rubio, voted to certify the results.
Democrats voted against decertifying the electors. In the end, 122 Republican lawmakers voted in favor of decertifying. But a total of 303 lawmakers, 82 of which were Republicans, were against decertifying.
Florida Congressmen Matt Gaetz and Brian Mast both supported not certifying Arizona’s election results.
“Congressional objections to slates of electors happen often, such as the certifications in 2000, 2014 and 2016,” Gimenez wrote on his Twitter account after the vote on the certification. “In the past members have used the election certification process to highlight voter irregularities, with House Democrats voting against the certification of George W. Bush’s win in Ohio in the 2004 election as an example.”
The vote came Wednesday night just hours after a deadly riot by a pro-Trump crowd, which led to the deaths of five people including the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was attacked by the violent mob and hit in the head with a fire extinguisher while he was defending the Capitol.
Trump and Trump supporters organized the march on the Capitol last Wednesday during the certification of Electoral College results. In promoting the protest, Trump invited people to attend and said the event was going to be “wild” in a post on Twitter. Many of the more than 100 people who have been arrested so far have been identified as Trump supporters.
Many of them took to social media while storming the Capitol and posted photographs or live-streamed themselves breaking into and vandalizing the building and elected officials’ offices and assaulting Capitol Police officers.
Gimenez, who was endorsed by Trump and is in his first term, did not return telephone calls or text messages Monday asking for comment or how he would vote on the impeachment of Trump.
Gimenez wrote on his Twitter account Sunday night that he was suffering from kidney stones and recovering at home.
Gimenez also missed his radio spots on Thursday and Friday morning on US1 Radio, but reporter Ron Saunders was eventually able to reach Gimenez on Friday and he defended his vote not to certify.
A House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office was blocked Monday by Republicans.
As the House prepares for impeachment, Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — over the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a draft of the articles obtained by The Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.