Utah Senator Mitt Romney, explaining on Wednesday his vote to convict and remove President Trump from office for “abuse of power,” showed his willingness to swallow hook, line and sinker the House managers’ case. I’m referring to the case the managers absolutely did NOT prove (which is why Trump was acquitted on Wednesday).
In fact, Romney, acting on his "conscience" and his “oath to God,” sounded as if he could’ve BEEN one of those House managers. Who needs Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler to spout unfounded allegations when you have Mitt Romney to do it? And now Mitt will go down in history as the first senator ever to vote to convict and remove a President of his own party.
Democrats and all anti-Trumpers are turning him into a hero, thumbing their noses at those who took due process and the rules of evidence seriously and concluded the House didn’t prove its case. If you can stomach it, here’s Jennifer Rubin in THE WASHINGTON POST: “His vote and more importantly his speech matter greatly, if only as reminders that every American has the capacity for greatness, the ability to stand on principle and the spine to refuse the entreaties of the mob.”
"The entreaties of the mob”?? To do what, read the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Zelensky, which showed no hint of “insistence” (Romney’s word) that Ukraine investigate the Bidens? Or think about the words of Zelensky himself, saying he'd felt “no pressure” to investigate? Perhaps to consider the House Republicans’s protest of Schiff’s decision to disallow any cross-examination of witnesses or introduction of exculpatory witnesses or documentation, which is all basic due process that Trump should have been provided? Or to admit the total lack of evidence that Trump had held up aid in any meaningful way to Ukraine or made it contingent upon investigating Biden? Romney did refuse all THOSE entreaties. Why?
Part of this is undoubtedly personal, as I’ll get to. But as Charlie Martin at PJ Media pointed out, “...It’s not allegations of corruption and seeking to investigate corruption that are bad; it’s seeking to investigate allegations of corruption BY A CANDIDATE FOR THE DEMOCRATS’ PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION that are bad." The House’s impeachment case boiled down to one thing: that the Bidens were supposed to be off-limits to Trump, no matter what they were doing. Trump rightly disagreed. And now Romney wants to remove him from office because...he thinks Trump should have looked the other way?
One excellent point made by a caller to Rush Limbaugh’s show has been making the rounds: If Romney believed just a week ago that there was not enough evidence to convict Trump without additional witnesses, how can he vote to convict today when there have been no additional witnesses?’
In an interview with Chris Wallace recorded shortly before his announcement, Romney said this: "I hoped beyond hope, as you might imagine, that there would be evidence brought forth by the White House that would say he did NOT do the things that were alleged. And, unfortunately, that never came forward."
Note to Mitt: They made that case for me. And maybe if the President had been allowed to cross-examine witnesses and bring documents and witnesses of his own into Schiff's secret proceedings, he could have made the case for you. Besides, it's not the accused's obligation to prove innocence. And the only way the managers could make THEIR case was by twisting what Trump said. Mitt, you are either poisoned by hate or out of your mind, or both.
Chris Wallace conducted an unbelievably softball interview with him, failing to venture into the hard questions about evidence and due process. It was all about Trump's probable response and the political consequences Mitt will face --- how "lonely" in Washington he's going to be. Poor Mitt! What a tough decision he had to make! The only ethical politician in the entire Republican Party! What a joke it was --- especially when he said he didn’t dislike Trump and had a cordial relationship with him. Do you REMEMBER the things Romney said about Trump in the days before he sought Trump’s nomination for Secretary of State? And then Trump didn’t nominate him. (Well, would you have?) Poor, poor, Mitt.
Significantly, Romney told Chris Wallace that the worst thing to ever happen to him politically has already happened, and that was losing the Presidency in 2012. I would guess that his announcement Wednesday had much more to do with that bit of truth than with any “case” the House managers made, though Romney would deny that, of course, perhaps even to himself.
Never fear, the Bidens WILL be investigated, maybe in Ukraine and definitely right here in the good old USA. (Funny that Joe Biden seems to be fading as a candidate; it’s likely that Trump never seriously thought he’d be the nominee, so he had little political reason to look into Hunter.) Senate Republicans are looking into Hunter’s travel records, and if necessarsy they’ll get them from the Secret Service. As Catherine Herridge (now with CBS News) reported Wednesday, Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson have already written to the director of the Secret Service seeking “information about whether Hunter Biden used government-sponsored travel to help conduct private business, to include his work for Rosemont Seneca and related entities in China and Ukraine.” and also “the protective detail that Hunter Biden received while his father was Vice President.”
On that front, we have breaking news, something that indirectly ties Romney to corruption at Burisma --- the very corruption that Romney was ready to remove Trump from office over, just for suggesting it be investigated. As reported in THE FEDERALIST, web archives show that top Romney advisor Joseph Cofer Black served on Burisma’s board of directors while Hunter Biden was also on the board. Mr. Black has a much more impressive resume than Hunter does, as you will see in the story at the link. But it’s looking more and more as though Burisma was buying complacency here in America by putting some carefully-chosen names on its board, and Hunter Biden was one of those. More to come.
Contrast Mitt Romney’s sanctimonious distortions of fact with the measured thoughtfulness of Maine Sen Susan Collins. She gave an admirable speech on the Senate floor prior to the final vote (as she did for the Justice Kavanaugh confirmation), and on Wednesday she appeared with Martha MacCallum on THE STORY, saying, “Well, I respect Mitt but I reached a different conclusion.” (She was nicer than I would’ve been.) She’d reflected on what the framers of the Constitution said and thought they would never want impeachment to be undertaken lightly, only for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Collins didn’t think the House managers had proved their case and thought the non-criminal charge of “abuse of power” was poorly defined. I disagree with her decision about calling new witnesses in the Senate, as Democrats had plenty of opportunity to make their case in the House. But at least she is someone who actually wants to be fair --- not just to give a false impression of being fair, as Romney does.