John Rutherford (R-Fla.) has represented Florida’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2017. In 2022, he ran unopposed—now in the 5th District—so is returning to Congress in January 2023 with Trump’s blessing.
Previously, Rutherford served as sheriff of Duval County, Florida from 2003–15. For the first three decades of his career, he held the unelected position of deputy sheriff in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Since joining Congress, Rutherford has been implicated in several ethical concerns despite the fact that he sits on the House Committee on Ethics. He has been found in violation of the STOCK Act on several occasions for a failure to report trades in numerous companies including Bristol Myers Squibb and Tyson Foods. In April 2022, the Ethics Committee announced an investigation of Rutherford for an undisclosed violation, though Politico noted that a committee investigation into one of its own members is “pretty rare.”
After the 2020 presidential election, Rutherford helped cast doubt on the legitimacy of Biden’s victory and downplayed the danger of the Capitol insurrection. He spread the Big Lie, objected to certifying the Electoral College results, and voted against both impeaching Trump for inciting the mob and establishing a special House committee to investigate the insurrection, among other measures.
January 6, 2021
- Just hours after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, Rutherford joined 146 other congressional Republicans in refusing to certify Biden’s win of the 2020 presidential election.
- Rutherford voted against impeaching Trump for his role in instigating the attack on Congress and the Capitol, and for fanning the flames once the riot broke out. In a prepared statement, he said, “A vote to impeach the president without proper due process and with only seven days left in office only further divides us.”
- Rutherford voted against establishing a House committee to investigate the genesis of the mob attack that disrupted the congressional election certification process.
The Big Lie
- On Dec. 10, 2020, Rutherford signed an amicus brief in a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the results of the presidential election in four swing states: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
- In a statement posted on Twitter on Jan. 1, 2021, Rutherford announced that he would vote against certifying the 2020 Electoral College results, writing that “It is up to the state legislatures in the six contested states to move quickly and do what they know is right.”
- Rutherford also supported the Big Lie on a local news channel in Florida, claiming that “serious allegations of election fraud exist and in some cases civil litigation remains pending.”