- Sen. Mitt Romney announced he’s voting to convict Donald Trump.
- It’s a bombshell vote. He’ll likely be the only Republican to do so.
- Romney defends his vote as a matter of Constitutional duty. But he never cared about the Constitution or unchecked executive power before.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced he’ll be voting to convict Donald Trump at the president’s impeachment trial. He will likely be the only Republican to do so.
In his speech, Romney said:
We have arrived at different judgments, but I hope we respect each other’s good faith.
But his good faith in this matter is questionable.
Because Romney has consistently supported a far more expansive view of presidential power than what he’s voting to convict Donald Trump for doing.
Mitt Romney Will Vote to Convict Donald Trump in Impeachment Trial
JUST IN: Mitt Romney becomes first GOP senator to say he'll vote to convict in Trump's impeachment trial.
— CNN (@CNN) February 5, 2020
Sen. Romney says:
The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust… it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values.
In a recent interview with the Atlantic, he echoed the same themes in his Senate speech:
The president did in fact pressure a foreign government to corrupt our election process. And really, corrupting an election process in a democratic republic is about as abusive and egregious an act against the Constitution—and one’s oath—that I can imagine. It’s what autocrats do.
He also says he’s read Alexander Hamilton’s treatise on impeachment in Federalist No. 65 “multiple, multiple times.”
But Mitt Romney supported the last president defying the Constitution like an autocrat. And when he ran against Obama, he promised he would do even worse if elected.
Romney Never Let the Constitution Get in the Way of Executive Power Before
In a 2012 CBS “Face The Nation” interview, Mitt Romney said he could go to war in Iran without Congress’ approval or authorization:
I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The President has that capacity now.
He supported Obama’s military intervention in Libya, which the White House did without congressional authorization. He even criticized Obama for not doing it sooner.
So Romney wants to convict Donald Trump for unilaterally ordering an investigation that could make him popular with voters, but supports the president unilaterally ordering wars that could make them popular.
That violates the Fourth Amendment. The Constitution guarantees citizens the right not to be searched without a warrant issued by a judge:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched…
And he specifically called for targeting mosques with wiretapping.
That’s a violation of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. So much for this quote from Romney’s conviction speech:
As a senator juror, I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential.
The Bottom Line About Romney’s Impeachment Stance
The glaring inconsistency makes it impossible to believe Romney actually cares about the Constitution and limiting executive power. His emphatic references to Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist No. 65 seem like coded messages to other modern-day Hamiltonians.
He doesn’t think Trump’s crime is the Ukraine phone call. It’s pulling out of Syria and refusing to go to war with Iran. Romney’s flashing gang signals to other Washington neocons and military-industrial complex lobbyists. He has been for a while now.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.