Southwest Florida former politician gives analysis of Trump arraignment

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

WINK News spoke to former politicians in Southwest Florida for informed interpretations of the arrest.

Francis Rooney, a former Republican congressman, knows Washington, knows the GOP and how our justice system works or how it’s supposed to work.

“I think for any Republican, even if you’re not a super close Trump one,” Rooney said, “you’ve got to look at this and say, ‘We’re turning into a banana republic,’ and this looks in part like a witch hunt.”

Rooney served Southwest Florida, and the nation, in Congress from 2017 – 2021.

He spoke to WINK News minutes after the former president pleaded not guilty to 37 counts related to his handling of classified documents.

“He did take an awful lot of documents, but the third thing is we really don’t know what those documents are,” Rooney said. “It looks really bad when you’re unloading box after box after box on the evening news.”

Rooney told WINK News that he doesn’t know what Trump is accused of is any worse than what other presidents and vice presidents have done.

“Hillary Clinton took so many documents and put so much stuff on her computer and totally skated, and no one said whether Biden knew what he had or not what he had. They just assumed that he didn’t know,” Rooney said.

Rooney believes Biden and the Department of Justice may be unfairly targeting Trump. However…

“Ron DeSantis, Glen Youngkin and any number of people, I think would have a better chance if they got the nomination, pulling back in our historic suburban people, business people, that is the rest of the Republican Party that Trump doesn’t have,” Rooney said.

WINK News asked if Rooney would rather see DeSantis in the White House or Trump.

“Well, I’d like to see Ron DeSantis. When you look at the number of people that Donald Trump has driven a meat cleaver through, our Republican Party divided up into these distinct segments,” Rooney said, “and really driven away a lot of the historical Republican base and replaced it with a much more populous isolationist base, and I’m not sure that’s good for the country or the world in the long run.”

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