Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, waits to participate in a mock swearing-in ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, as the 116th Congress begins. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
With Trump’s impeachment trial looming, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done a good job of holding his members together under a smart, congruent strategy. That’s led to big wins, such as beating back Nancy Pelosi’s ridiculous strategy of withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate.
That’s all over now though, because Mitt Romney must do Mitt Romney things and that means breaking rank to give the Democrats what they want – a circus trial.
Romney is now calling for John Bolton to testify, something the Democrat led House had every chance to make happen by issuing a subpoena.
Romney said, “I support the Clinton impeachment model, which is a vote on witnesses later. But as to which witnesses I’d want to hear from, and so forth, that’s something which I’m open to until after the opening arguments.”
He added that Bolton is “someone who I would like to hear from, and presumably, I’d get the chance to vote for that.”
He could have heard from him had Schiff and Pelosi not so politicized the impeachment process that they refused to allow a court to rule on the matter of Bolton testifying (he was using a proxy case that was going through the courts at the same time, but Bolton had pledged to honor that outcome). Instead, the Democrats withdrew their subpoena altogether, causing the judge the moot the case and dismiss it. This was all done because Democrats said the matter was just too serious to wait on. Yet, they just spent the last three weeks refusing to let the trial start. Try to square that one.
The point is, Republicans shouldn’t be saving Democrats from their own mistakes at this point. There is no chance Trump will be convicted in the Senate, nor should he. There’s also no chance Bolton has any smoking gun, otherwise it’d have been shared publicly or leaked by now. This is all just for show and Romney is playing right into Democrat hands by not listening to McConnell on the matter.
McConnell’s position that it’s not the Senate’s job to do the prosecution’s work for them is the correct one. During Clinton’s impeachment, the witnesses were pre-taped by the House. They didn’t call a slew of public witnesses in the senate and turn the opposition party loose because that’s politically idiotic. Romney’s move also conveniently provides cover for Collins, Murkowski, and Gardner, who no doubt would like to go rogue here as well. Somewhere, Chuck Schumer is writing the Utah senator a thank you card.
But if Romney wants to do this, let’s do it. Rand Paul has the right idea.
My colleagues can’t have it both ways. Calling for some, while blocking others. If we are going to give a platform to witnesses the Dems demand, I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more! https://t.co/hrOzVyiG9x
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 14, 2020
If this thing is going to turn into a spectacle, let’s have a spectacle. Get Hunter Biden in there, get Alexander Vindman back to answer for his lies during his House testimony, and let’s hear from slow Joe himself about his threatening of the Ukrainian government. I want to see Eric Ciarmella (the whistle-blower) and IG Atkinson testify as well.
If Democrats and Romney want to play these games, let the games begin.