As expected, the Senate voted yesterday to acquit Trump of both impeachment charges. But one last surprise remained, brought to us by Senator Mitt Romney. Apparently without tipping off Moscow Mitch or the White House, Romney held a press conference just before the final impeachment vote to tell America that he was going to vote to remove president Trump on the abuse-of-power article. Romney’s speech was powerful, emotional and to the point. “He did it,” Romney said, stating that Trump was “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.” His full speech is worth listening to. Here’s coverage in the New York Times:
By voting to remove Trump, Romney became the first Senator in US history to vote to remove a president of his own party. I’ve rarely been in agreement with Mitt Romney’s policy choices or politics, but his decision was a welcome and commendable act of courage and principle. He has already received withering criticism from members of his own party, including Trump Jr who wondered on Twitter if they could throw him out of the GOP. But in reality, the Trumps and their supporters have mutated the Republican party into something entirely different and malignant anyway, the Trump Party, where dissent or even mild criticism is cause for seething resentment and termination. But Romney made his decision fully aware of the abuse that would ensue.
Democrats, however, were jubilant that at least one conservative had the backbone to stand up to Trump and do the right thing. Stephen Colbert took a serious detour in his monologue last night to praise and thank Romney for standing on the right side of history–it’s worth watching if you can find it.
Another act of political courage yesterday came from Alabama Senator Doug Jones, Democrat, who voted to remove Trump despite Trump’s high approval rating in Alabama. Jones won his seat by a razor thin margin and is up for re-election in November, so his principled vote may have big consequences for his job and for the balance of power in Congress.
Despite a formal end to the impeachment process, Rep Gerry Nadler hinted yesterday that the House may yet subpoena Ambassador John Bolton to testify before a House committee, but it remains likely that Bolton will fight a House subpoena, a process that could take months, if not years, to resolve. But every day, more evidence emerges to corroborate what we already know about Trump’s misdeeds. Yesterday more emails surfaced showing that career officials in the OMB were concerned and frantic about the mystery hold placed on US aid to Ukraine–because they all knew something smelled fishy and possibly unlawful. Expect a steady drip-drip-drip of such stories in the days ahead.
The only way to remove Trump now is at the ballot box.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”