Reacting to Republican Congressman Justin Amash’s call for President Trump to face impeachment over the obstruction of justice findings of the Mueller report, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Sunday praised the Michigan lawmaker for his “courageous statement” while saying he didn’t personally feel it was a time to call for impeachment.
Noting that Romney had said last month that he was “sickened” and “appalled” that the president welcomed help from Russia during the 2016 election, State of the Union anchor Jake Tapper asked Romney if he was surprised that he and Amash are the only two elected Republicans who have condemned the president’s behavior.
“My own view is that Justin Amash has reached a different conclusion than I have,” the former Republican presidential nominee replied. “I respect him. I think it’s a courageous statement. But I believe to make a case for obstruction of justice, you just don’t have the elements that are evidenced in this document.”
He went on to say that when it comes to impeachment, one has to consider not just the law but politics and practicality, adding that the “jury” in this case is the Senate and they are “certainly not there either.”
Asked why he doesn’t believe the obstruction of justice findings rise to the level of impeachment, Romney said he doesn’t “think there is the full element you need to prove an obstruction of justice case.”
“I don’t think a prosecutor would actually look at this and say, OK, we have here all the elements that would get this to a conviction,” he continued. “So, you know, everyone reaches their own conclusion. As I read the report, I was troubled by it. Was very disappointing for a number of reasons. But it did not suggest to me this was a time to call for impeachment.”
After reiterating that he was distressed by the president’s behavior but didn’t think there was an underlying crime to prosecute Trump, Romney moved on to discuss the rising tension with Iran, including reports that the White House is considering a plan to move 120,000 troops to the Middle East.
Insisting that the “threat is real” from Iran, Romney nonetheless said that he believes the Trump administration is not looking to lead America into another war.
“I don’t believe for a minute that either the president or [National Security Adviser] John Bolton or, frankly, anyone else in a senior position of leadership in the White House has any interest in going to the Middle East and going to war,” Romney declared. “That’s just not going to happen.”