For John, BLUF: Senator Mitt Romney used to be the Massachusetts Governor. Now he is a Utah Senator. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From The Boston Globe, by Martin Finucane, 5 February 2020.
Here is the lede plus one:
Citing his religious faith and the judgment of history, Utah Senator Mitt Romney broke Wednesday with other Republican senators who have defended President Trump and voted to convict the impeached president Article 1, which deals with abuse of power.The full text of Senator Romney's speech can be found here. Senator Mitt Romney spoke on the floor of the Senate as to his views on the two Impeachment Articles. I listened to much of it on the way home from downtown Lowell. While I don't agree with Senator Romney, I see his point of view. The President was going after crimes where none existed. In accepting his appointment to the board of Burisma Holdings, Mr Hunter Biden did not violate any laws. In not excusing himself Vice President Biden did not violate any laws. It looked bad, but wasn't illegal. The President, on the other hand, surely acted in a corrupt manner, attempting to entangle a potential 2020 rival, in Senator Romney's mind.
In a speech on the Senate floor announcing his decision, Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, called Trump’s actions “perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of oath of office that I can imagine.”
My view is that President Trump was trying to deal with corruption in Ukraine, which had flowed to America's shores. Putting Mr Hunter Biden on the board of Burisma Holdings, for what appears to be the value of having the US Vice President's Son on the board, was wrong and gave the appearance of corruption and might, at some point, led to corrupt decisions, giving the flow of aid from the United States to Ukraine. I can see the President's concerns. Money flowing from the United States to Ukraine and Ukraine perhaps perverting the use of that money, diverting it from its intended purposes. Or in the case of the JAVELIN Missiles, from their intended purposes. The President was concerned about American Foreign Policy, and, I suspect, not confident that the Foreign Policy professionals over at Foggy Bottom would do the right thing for the American Tax Payers.
As to the assertion that President Trump was using the Ukraine corruption as a cover for his political actions against a potential political opponent, to wit, former Vice President Joe Biden, I find this unlikely. As the Iowa Caucus shows, Candidate Biden is not a major threat to President Trump. I suspect the President intuited that long before. If there is any political action taken to dirty up a political opponent, it is the House Impeachment action, perpetrated by the House Democrats. Shame! Shame! Shame!
I suspect that with regard to not just handing over information to House demands, absent court orders, the President dodged total condemnation from Presidential Scholars two decades forward. If he had turned over the information demanded, sent forward the witnesses, he would have destroyed Executive Privilege as predecessors understood it.
I respect Senator Romney for thinking this through. He just came up with a different understanding than I did.
Regards — Cliff