In this image from video, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks on the Senate floor about the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. The Senate will vote on the Articles of Impeachment on Wednesday afternoon. (Senate Television via AP)
In the world of politics, this was probably the most predictable thing possible.
Mitt Romney is doing Mitt Romney things again by signaling that he may oppose subpoenas that could widen the investigation into Burisma. The first move by Sen. Johnson was set to be the calling of a consultant of the company in for questioning. This could obviously lead to Hunter Biden and those around him being in the crosshairs as well.
But Romney doesn’t seem keen on investigations all the sudden. His reason? He thinks it looks too political.
Mitt Romney, a member of Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, told me of Chairman Ron Johnson’s Burisma probe: “There's no question but the appearance of looking at Burisma appears political. And I think people are tired of these kind of political investigations”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 5, 2020
Romney added: “We also have a lot of work to do on matters that are not related to Burisma. We probably ought to focus on those things.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 5, 2020
Sometimes I think Romney is just a parody of everything conservatives can’t stand about some Republicans. This is the same guy who egged on a five month impeachment investigation that was clearly rooted in politics. This is also the same guy who supported a three year investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign, which again was highly politicized. Yet, he wants to draw the line at looking into Hunter Biden, a guy who was making $80,000 a month working for a corrupt oil company while his father ran the foreign policy in the same country.
How very, very convenient. The Hunter Biden issue is also something Romney would never try to hand wave away if we were dealing with one of Trump’s children.
But this is who Mitt Romney is. As I said in one of my previous pieces on him, he’s much more concerned about being the foil to his own party, lapping up the plaudits in the process, than actually abiding by any real principles. That’s why he’s been so highly malleable throughout his political career.
But this is the guy we are supposed to go to bat for? Nonsense. Such actions have never been reciprocated by Romney, even when he ran for President. There’s a reason so many Republicans said “forget it, you get Trump now.” It’s not because they are rubes or hate decorum. It’s because they got sick and tired of politicians in the GOP demanding that voters have their back while they could never be bothered to return the favor.
Mollie Hemingway threw a bit of criticism his way after this report broke.
Sole Republican to join hyperpartisan Democrats in unquestionably political impeachment says that investigation of corruption related to powerful US political players and taxpayer funding of foreign entities looks "political." Even for Mitt Romney, that's pretty Mitt Romney. https://t.co/cpJtEVMoSW
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) March 5, 2020
She’s right. This may be the most Mitt Romney thing Mitt Romney has ever done. If he does indeed scuttle the subpoenas (and effectively, the investigation), there’s simply no logical explanation except that he’s doing it out of pure spite. The Burisma issue is tied to the use of government funds by major political figures (yes, including Joe Biden) and it deserves scrutiny. It’s not simply “political,” it’s a real scandal.
It should also be noted that Romney might have a bit of a conflict of interest here.
Since a former aide to @MittRomney went to work for Burisma around the same time Hunter Biden did, the junior senator should probably recuse himself from any vote related to Burisma? Just a thought: https://t.co/R4PtR0DTfc
— Julie Kelly (@julie_kelly2) March 5, 2020
While I’m not ready to go down that road without further evidence, it is awful weird that Romney, who loves investigations into Trump, suddenly doesn’t want anyone sniffing around Burisma and Biden. We can only hope that Sen. Johnson is able to talk some sense into him.
But in the end, this is why most Republicans can’t stand Mitt Romney. Love him or hate him, this is why.