Romney 'comfortable' with Clinton precedent to delay witness testimony

Romney 'comfortable' with Clinton precedent to delay witness testimony
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Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Donald Trump: Unrepentant, on the attack and still playing the victim The Hill's Campaign Report: New challenges for 2020 Dems in Nevada, South Carolina MORE (Utah), one of the most independent Senate GOP voices, said Tuesday he is “comfortable” with using the precedent set by the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial, which delayed the question of considering witnesses and additional documents.

Romney said he supports Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellErnst endorses bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill to lower drug prices Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Trump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request MORE’s (R-Ky.) position that the Senate should first pass an organizing resolution that sets up the opening arguments by House impeachment managers and President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE’s defense team, and punt on the question of whether to subpoena former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonWe should listen to John Bolton The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms Bolton decries White House 'censorship' in rare public remarks on his book MORE and other witnesses.

That’s what the Senate voted 100-0 to do at the start of Clinton’s trial, which McConnell has claimed as a powerful precedent.

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“I think the Clinton impeachment process provides a pathway for witnesses to be heard so I’m comfortable with that process,” Romney said Tuesday.

That position doesn’t foreclose the possibility of hearing witness testimony at a later date, but it does mean that Senate Republicans will support an organizing resolution that falls short of Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBarr to testify before House Judiciary panel Graham won't call Barr to testify over Roger Stone sentencing recommendation Roger Stone witness alleges Trump targeted prosecutors in 'vile smear job' MORE’s (D-N.Y.) procedural demands.

Schumer argues that the trial rules won’t be fair unless they require up front that four key witnesses testify: Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request Scaramucci thanks John Kelly for speaking up against Trump Trump lashes out over Kelly criticism: 'He misses the action' MORE, senior Mulvaney adviser Robert Blair, and senior Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey.

“More important than precedent is the fact that it plainly doesn’t make sense to have both sides present their arguments first and then — afterward — ask for the evidence we know is out there. The evidence should inform the trial, not the other way around,” Schumer said Monday.