Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Was again this week one of the few members of the US House to vote against legislation targeting Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
This time it was a resolution directing the White House to detail efforts to collect evidence on war crimes in the conflict.
Massie is now the only member of the US House to vote against each of the four bills and resolutions aimed at Russia over the past month, including ones expressing support for Ukraine, banning imports of Russian oil and suspending normal trade relations with Russia.
The resolution Massie voted against Wednesday was a reaction to widespread reports of the targeting of civilians, mass executions and rape committed by Russian soldiers during the invasion, outlining a process for collecting and preserving evidence of war crimes and the submission of such evidence to a domestic , foreign or international court.
Opinion:The whole world is watching: Russians’ war crimes will be documented. And prosecuted.
Massie was one of just six House members to vote against the resolution, tweeting that he did so “because it contains language that could set the table for bringing spurious war crimes charges against American service members for mistakes made during military operations in theaters such as Afghanistan.”
President Joe Biden on Monday called for a war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin and more sanctions against Russia, as reports continue of two mass graves of hundreds of civilians in the area surrounding Kyiv following the retreat of Russian forces.
Massie was also one of just three members to vote against the resolution expressing support for Ukraine shortly after the invasion, one of eight members to vote against suspending Russia’s trade status and one of 17 members to vote against banning oil imports from Russia – and the only member to vote against all four.
Video:Russian war crimes alleged at UN Security Council
Explaining his vote against the pro-Ukraine resolution last month, Massie said his call for additional defensive assistance to Ukraine could include the deployment of US troops, while cautioning that “fully isolating” Russia economically with “crippling sanctions” could drive Putin “to become more desperate. “
Massie previously said the bill suspending Russia’s trade status would give Biden broad authority to sanction “virtually anyone, anywhere in the world, whether they are connected to Russia or not,” while the oil import ban was part of Biden’s plan “to use high gas prices to bludgeon American consumers into adopting a leftist energy agenda.”
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney has called the faction of GOP House members voting against these bills and resolutions the “Putin wing“of her party.
Matt Lehman, the only Democratic candidate running against Massie in his Fourth District reelection race, issued a press release earlier this week blasting the congressman for his vote against another non-binding resolution reaffirming US support for NATO and its principles.
Lehman, who lived and worked in Ukraine with his family for five years, said Massie instead “continued his relentless support for Putin’s murderous, anti-freedom regime.”
“Thomas Massie is a clear and present danger to the Free World,” Lehman stated. “Massie has shown he would let dictator Putin lay waste to democracy in Europe instead of standing up to a modern Stalin.”
Massie was one of 63 Republicans to vote against the NATO resolution and the only member of Kentucky’s congressional delegation to do so.
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