Sen. Mitt Romney Is A Key Impeachment Player. Here's What He's Said So Far This Week.
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is among a small group of Republican senators that could hold the key to how the Senate impeachment trial plays out.
Senate Democrats need four Republicans to vote with them in order to call witnesses, subpoena documents and remove President Donald Trump.
Romney could be one of those swing votes. He has been an outspoken critic of Trump, from his decision to ask Ukraine and China to investigate Hunter Biden to the president’s conduct on Twitter.
Romney has said he wants to hear from former national security adviser John Bolton, and possibly other witnesses, but he released a statement Monday night saying he wouldn’t vote to call witnesses until after opening arguments. Indeed, on Tuesday, he voted with his party against Democratic amendments to call witnesses and supported Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s trial rules.
In an interview with CNN Tuesday, Romney criticized the Democrats’ responses to McConnell’s proposed rules.
“I think the Democrats make a mistake when they claim outrage time and time again,” he said. “When everything is an outrage, nothing is an outrage.”
Romney says McConnell changes are "modest" from Clinton rules. "I think Democrats make a mistake when they call it outrage time and time again," telling me he'll vote against amendments today calling for witnesses, but wants to hear from Bolton later pic.twitter.com/2SKUX5YnLs— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 21, 2020
Romney has also promised to keep an open mind during the trial.
“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,” he said in a statement Monday. “I enter this task with an open mind and a recognition of my solemn responsibility to fulfill my oath.”
Utah’s other senator, Republican Mike Lee, also opposed Trump’s run for president in 2016. But, unlike Romney, he has come to the president’s defense.
“What he did was not impeachable,” Lee told Politico in December. “It was not criminal. And I don't think what he did was even wrong.”
Sonja Hutson covers politics for KUER. Follow her on Twitter @SonjaHutson