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All Eyes On Mitt: Romney’s First Move In Impeachment Trial Disappoints Democrats

By  James BarrettDailyWire.com
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol January 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Today marks day one of the Senate impeachment trial against President Trump. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Democrats hoping that former presidential candidate and frequent Trump critic Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) will be a stumbling block for his Republican colleagues during the impeachment trial are undoubtedly disappointed in his response to House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s resolution outlining the proceedings.

While Democrats are taking to various media platforms to express outrage over the Republicans’ plans for handling the trial, accusing McConnell of attempting to “cover up” the president’s alleged misconduct by fast-tracking the proceedings, Romney pointed out in a statement issued ahead of the debate Tuesday that the rules set forth by his colleagues “align closely” with those established for the impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton, rules which were unanimously approved by the Senate.

Among the Democrats alleging Republican treachery is House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who laid it on thick Tuesday. “We are staring down an erosion of the sacred democratic principles for which our founders fought a bloody war of independence,” declared Schumer, as reported by The Washington Post. “The McConnell rules seem to be designed by President Trump for President Trump,” the New York senator added. “It asks the Senate to rush through as fast as possible and makes getting evidence as hard as possible.”

But in his statement responding to the Senate Republicans’ resolution, Romney torpedoed the Democrats’ talking point by looking at the precedent set in the Clinton trial. While stressing that he believes the allegations against Trump are “extremely serious” and thus require his fellow senators to “put political biases aside” and hear the case in “good faith,” Romney made clear that he sees no big problem with the rules laid out by McConnell.

“The allegations outlined in the articles of impeachment passed by the House are extremely serious — did the President abuse his office for personal political gain, and did he obstruct Congress’ investigation by blocking subpoenas?” Romney said in the statement. “These allegations demand that the Senate put political biases aside, and make good faith efforts to listen to arguments from both sides and thoroughly review facts and evidence. I have made clear to my colleagues and the public that the Senate should have the opportunity to decide on witnesses following the opening arguments, as occurred in the Clinton trial. The organizing resolution released tonight includes this step, and overall, it aligns closely with the rules package approved 100-0 during the Clinton trial. If attempts are made to vote on witnesses prior to opening arguments, I would oppose those efforts.”

Romney has since criticized Democrats over their histrionic response to the resolution. “If everything is an outrage, then nothing is an outrage,” said the senator, as reported by Manu Raju (via Hot Air). Below is the full text of Romney’s statement responding to the resolution:

As we approach the impeachment trial of the President, I feel a deep sense of responsibility to the Constitution, to the people of Utah and to the nation. I want to share my thoughts directly with Utahns — the people I was elected to serve in the Senate — about how I plan to approach this process.

Last week, I and all senators swore an oath to ‘do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God’ in determining whether the president has committed impeachable offenses that merit his removal from office. Deciding whether or not a sitting president should be removed from office is perhaps the most solemn matter that can ever come before the United States Senate. I enter this task with an open mind and a recognition of my solemn responsibility to fulfill my oath.

The allegations outlined in the articles of impeachment passed by the House are extremely serious — did the President abuse his office for personal political gain, and did he obstruct Congress’ investigation by blocking subpoenas? These allegations demand that the Senate put political biases aside, and make good faith efforts to listen to arguments from both sides and thoroughly review facts and evidence. I have made clear to my colleagues and the public that the Senate should have the opportunity to decide on witnesses following the opening arguments, as occurred in the Clinton trial. The organizing resolution released tonight includes this step, and overall, it aligns closely with the rules package approved 100-0 during the Clinton trial. If attempts are made to vote on witnesses prior to opening arguments, I would oppose those efforts.

I will conclude by noting that this is not a situation anyone would wish upon our country. It is difficult, divisive, and further inflames partisan entrenchment. There is inevitable political pressure from all sides. I have spent — and will continue to spend — many hours in careful deliberation about what this process and its potential outcomes could mean for our country. The best we in the Senate can do is strive to meet the obligations outlined by our founding fathers — to honor our constitutional duty and fulfill our oath to do impartial justice. That is the commitment I make solemnly and in good faith to the people of Utah and our nation.

Related: WATCH: Trump Kicks Off Impeachment Week By Reminding Democrats What They’ve Said In The Past About Impeachment

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