Romney 'comfortable' with Clinton precedent to delay witness testimony

Romney 'comfortable' with Clinton precedent to delay witness testimony
© Getty Images

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyIn Montana, a knock-down redistricting fight over a single line Trump-backed bills on election audits, illegal voting penalties expected to die in Texas legislature The Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government 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 McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats 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 TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE’s defense team, and punt on the question of whether to subpoena former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat We've left Afghanistan — but its consequences are just starting to arrive It's time to pull the plug on our toxic relationship with Pakistan 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.


“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 SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration with Sinema rises Schumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor's race Guns Down America's leader says Biden 'has simply not done enough' on gun control 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 MulvaneyMick MulvaneyJan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 11, including Pierson, other rally organizers 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.