U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz does a little procedural protest against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Robert Mueller. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives voted 420-0 to approve a resolution to make Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s forthcoming report on Russian election meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election public. But two Florida Congressmen’s votes were absent.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a vociferous backer of President Trump,  was one of four Republicans who voted “present” on the resolution — a way to avoid a “yes” or “no” vote.  Seven lawmakers – including Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings – didn’t cast votes. It was unclear why Hastings didn’t cast a vote.

Gaetz, a frequent Fox News guest, said in a statement that his vote was intended as a rebuke to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“I’ve said to millions of Americans on television that I support releasing the Mueller report. I didn’t need to embrace Nancy Pelosi’s foreword to it today,” the Florida Republican said. “I take specific exception to the elements of the resolution noting praise for Mueller, without also noting the criticism of his very biased staffing decisions. It’s like he was fishing for talent in the Hillary Clinton fan club aquarium.”

The three other GOP lawmakers who voted “present” were Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan,  Paul Gosar of Arizona and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

Top Democrats called adopting the resolution an important step toward promoting transparency.

Pelosi’s office issued a statement Thursday morning saying, “The American people deserve to know the truth: full transparency is essential in ensuring that the American people have full confidence in the integrity of our democracy.”

Most House Republicans sided with Democrats in endorsing the resolution


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