Senator Mitt Romney has revealed he’d be in favor of new witnesses being called to testify in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Romney’s decision comes just prior to controversy over anonymous sources relaying information on a book manuscript by former National Security Advisor John Bolton to the New York Times.
The Times indicates that the manuscript accuses President Trump of withholding military aid to Ukraine until Joe Biden and his son Hunter were properly investigated.
Romney, however, was wavering already and suggesting he’d side with Democrats before the Times published that report.
“I think it’s very likely I’ll be in favor of witnesses, but I haven’t made a decision finally yet and I won’t until the testimony is completed,” the former presidential candidate said on Saturday.
If Romney was in favor of teaming up with Democrats before the Bolton report, he’ll most assuredly be demanding witnesses now.
Romney says ‘very likely’ he’ll be in favor of witnesses but won’t decide until after opening arguments.https://t.co/BFLH3suVfo
— Rusty Weiss 🇺🇸 (@rustyweiss74) January 27, 2020
Romney Wanted to Hear From Bolton From the Start
Senator Romney was suggesting he’d like to hear from Bolton weeks ago.
“I would like to hear from John Bolton and other witnesses, but at the same time I’m comfortable with the Clinton impeachment model when we have opening arguments first and then we have a vote on whether to have witnesses,” he said.
Democrats would need four Republicans in total to side with them on calling new impeachment witnesses.
Other key individuals that Democrats hope to see defect had listened to the impeachment managers opening arguments and were outraged at the suggestion that if the Senate fails to bend to the whim of their House colleagues they’d be engaged in a “cover-up.”
“I took it as offensive,” Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said last week. “As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended.”
Are her offended sensibilities going to outweigh the obvious media collusion with the Bolton revelations?
Aside from Romney and Murkowski, the resistance would also likely need Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado to join their side. Collins and Murkowski have, like Romney, been vocal in the idea that they’d be open to new witnesses.
My statement on the start of the impeachment trial→ https://t.co/6WZXI8sfyV
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) January 21, 2020
Romney and Political Pressure
Prior to the onset of the impeachment trial, Romney issued a statement explaining his mindset regarding witnesses.
“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,” he said.
“I will conclude by noting that this is not a situation anyone would wish upon our country,” he continued. “It is difficult, divisive, and further inflames partisan entrenchment. There is inevitable political pressure from all sides.”
The idea that Romney can be so easily swayed from day to day seems to suggest he easily crumbles under that political pressure.
Or is he really being swayed at all? Perhaps this has been the plan all along.
Back in October, Romney hinted that he’d vote to remove the President should impeachment pass in the House of Representatives.
Appearing in an interview with ‘Axios on HBO,’ Romney, according to the outlet, “made it clear that he’s open to voting to remove Trump.”
This is just a continuation of the Senator’s opportunism when it comes to swiping at Trump or praising him when it suits his own needs. Does he smell blood in the water?
Read more at the Political Insider