Romney Statement on Start of Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) released the following statement tonight in an email message to the people of Utah:

“As we approach the impeachment trial of the President, I feel a deep sense of responsibility to the Constitution, to the people of Utah and to the nation. I want to share my thoughts directly with Utahns—the people I was elected to serve in the Senate—about how I plan to approach this process.

“Last week, I and all senators swore an oath to ‘do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God’ in determining whether the president has committed impeachable offenses that merit his removal from office. 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. I enter this task with an open mind and a recognition of my solemn responsibility to fulfill my oath.

“The allegations outlined in the articles of impeachment passed by the House are extremely serious—did the President abuse his office for personal political gain, and did he obstruct Congress’ investigation by blocking subpoenas? These allegations demand that the Senate put political biases aside, and make good faith efforts to listen to arguments from both sides and thoroughly review facts and evidence. 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, as occurred in the Clinton trial. The organizing resolution released tonight includes this step, and overall, it aligns closely with the rules package approved 100-0 during the Clinton trial. If attempts are made to vote on witnesses prior to opening arguments, I would oppose those efforts.

“I will conclude by noting that this is not a situation anyone would wish upon our country. It is difficult, divisive, and further inflames partisan entrenchment. There is inevitable political pressure from all sides. I have spent—and will continue to spend—many hours in careful deliberation about what this process and its potential outcomes could mean for our country. The best we in the Senate can do is strive to meet the obligations outlined by our founding fathers—to honor our constitutional duty and fulfill our oath to do impartial justice. That is the commitment I make solemnly and in good faith to the people of Utah and our nation.”