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Romney's Decision Process for Vote on Impeachment


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2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

The quote was provided on the other thread, but Romney stated that he wanted more witnesses because we believed Trump was guilty with the information that had been presented, and hoped that hearing from more witnesses would give him a reason to vote not guilty.  

Yes I seen that interview, but there were many statements made by Romney up to the time of the vote. I was quoting one were he said so he could know if he was guilty (paraphrasing).  But it really doesn't matter anymore,  what was said is done, what was voted on is done. In the end I still respect Sen. Romney very much, at the same time I can also respect the achievements that President Trump has did for the country as well.

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17 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

No one — not Romney or anyone else — should embroil the Church in partisan politics without authorization. I don’t begrudge him defending his action, but I wish he had found a way to do it without opening the Church up to partisan attack. Already I’ve seen ignorant, bigoted and derisive jabs about “Mitt’s magic underwear” and about him “praying to Joseph Smith.” 

He basically spoke of the oath he'd taken before God and doing the right thing no matter the consequence. Maybe if we can dissect the below to figure out where our differences went off the rails. Below is Mitt's full speech..

"The Constitution is at the foundation of our Republic's success, and we each strive not to lose sight of our promise to defend it. The Constitution established the vehicle of impeachment that has occupied both houses of Congress for these many days. We have labored to faithfully execute our responsibilities to it. We have arrived at different judgments, but I hope we respect each other's good faith.

The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a Senator-juror, I swore an oath, before God, to exercise "impartial justice." I am a profoundly religious person. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the President, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.

The House Managers presented evidence supporting their case; the White House counsel disputed that case. In addition, the President's team presented three defenses: first, that there can be no impeachment without a statutory crime; second, that the Bidens' conduct justified the President's actions; and third that the judgement of the President's actions should be left to the voters. Let me first address each of those defenses.

The historic meaning of the words "high crimes and misdemeanors," the writings of the Founders and my own reasoned judgement convince me that a president can indeed commit acts against the public trust that are so egregious that while they are not statutory crimes, they would demand removal from office. To maintain that the lack of a codified and comprehensive list of all the outrageous acts that a president might conceivably commit renders Congress powerless to remove a president defies reason.

The President's counsel noted that Vice President Biden appeared to have a conflict of interest when he undertook an effort to remove the Ukrainian Prosecutor General. If he knew of the exorbitant compensation his son was receiving from a company actually under investigation, the Vice President should have recused himself. While ignoring a conflict of interest is not a crime, it is surely very wrong.

With regards to Hunter Biden, taking excessive advantage of his father's name is unsavory but also not a crime. Given that in neither the case of the father nor the son was any evidence presented by the President's counsel that a crime had been committed, the President's insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit. There is no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the President would never have done what he did.

The defense argues that the Senate should leave the impeachment decision to the voters. While that logic is appealing to our democratic instincts, it is inconsistent with the Constitution's requirement that the Senate, not the voters, try the president. Hamilton explained that the Founders' decision to invest senators with this obligation rather than leave it to voters was intended to minimize—to the extent possible—the partisan sentiments of the public.

This verdict is ours to render. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfilled our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the President committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a "high crime and misdemeanor."

Yes, he did.

The President asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival.

The President withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so.

The President delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders.

The President's purpose was personal and political.

Accordingly, the President is guilty of an appalling abuse of the public trust.

What he did was not "perfect"— No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security interests, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine.

In the last several weeks, I have received numerous calls and texts. Many demand that, in their words, "I stand with the team." I can assure you that that thought has been very much on my mind. I support a great deal of what the President has done. I have voted with him 80% of the time. But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented, and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history's rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.

I am aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters, I will be vehemently denounced. I am sure to hear abuse from the President and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?

I sought to hear testimony from John Bolton not only because I believed he could add context to the charges, but also because I hoped that what he said might raise reasonable doubt and thus remove from me the awful obligation to vote for impeachment.

Like each member of this deliberative body, I love our country. I believe that our Constitution was inspired by Providence. I am convinced that freedom itself is dependent on the strength and vitality of our national character. As it is with each senator, my vote is an act of conviction. We have come to different conclusions, fellow senators, but I trust we have all followed the dictates of our conscience.

I acknowledge that my verdict will not remove the President from office. The results of this Senate Court will in fact be appealed to a higher court: the judgement of the American people. Voters will make the final decision, just as the President's lawyers have implored. My vote will likely be in the minority in the Senate. But irrespective of these things, with my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability, believing that my country expected it of me. I will only be one name among many, no more or less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the President did was wrong, grievously wrong.

We're all footnotes at best in the annals of history. But in the most powerful nation on earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice, that is distinction enough for any citizen."

Edited by Tacenda
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3 minutes ago, Anijen said:

I will not say if Romney was right or wrong, I respect the man either way.

His vote did raise a question for me. He said he was going to vote to subpoena witnesses so that he could know if President Trump was guilty or not. But no more witnesses were called. Thus,by his own past statement, he voted President Trump was guilty without knowing if Trump was guilty or not. 

Actually, he said he wanted witnesses not to see whether or not Trump was guilty, but whether anything exculpatory relative to overwhelming public evidence could be produced.  The Bolton and Parness and Freedom information information that was in the news did not come through formal channels, but it did not provide any hint or suggestion that Trump was anything other than guilty as charged. Trump's obstruction on documents and witnesses and attacks on whistle blower in violation of law all weigh in the balance.  If had exculpatory documents, he'd have every reason to provide them.   But he obstructed, and lied and lied and lied some more, and called people names, and lied and lied some more.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/05/mitt-romney-impeachment-vote-speech-transcript-110849

And since it turned out that witness testimony we got confirmed and extended the whistleblower concern, and the partial transcript actually showed that the whistleblower and witness testimony was correct, and the additional information that came out showed that the whole mess has been ongoing for months, starting with the previous administration in Ukraine, even before Zelinsky was elected, it would take a very strong ideological commitment to dismiss all of the confirming evidence.  Indeed Politifact gave Trump's claim that the whistleblower got the call completely wrong a "Pants on Fire" rating.

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/oct/09/donald-trump/donald-trump-whistleblower-got-phone-call-almost-c/

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

The quote was provided on the other thread, but Romney stated that he wanted more witnesses because we believed Trump was guilty with the information that had been presented, and hoped that hearing from more witnesses would give him a reason to vote not guilty.  

I tend to suspect he was also hoping more witnesses might persuade some of his GOP colleagues to join him in the direction he was already inclined, i.e. convicting Trump. 

I don’t deny that if there had been reasons emerge he felt justified him in not going that route, he would have responded accordingly. But I think he’s spinning his motives and behavior to put the best public face on them. 

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3 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

He did no such thing, and never even said what church he belonged to. He said his faith in God, basically. And doing the right thing no matter the consequence. I thought better of you Scott. 

Do you seriously believe it is any great public secret what church he belongs to? Spare me the shaming. 

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A thoughtful op-ed piece from Hal Boyd, one of my former Deseret News colleagues. It aligns with some of the thoughts I’ve been expressing here about the problem with concluding that Romney’s political behavior was mandated  by God. 
 

https://www.deseret.com/opinion/2020/2/5/21125677/romney-impeachment-vote-senate-lds-mormon-faith-christian

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6 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Do you seriously believe it is any great public secret what church he belongs to? Spare me the shaming. 

I edited, because I tend to post before I read over. And added his speech. Do you care to point out where he brought TCOJCOLDS into it? He did take an oath before God, so what is the problem. Please, I beg of you to point it out. If I'm wrong I'll concede, but please show me since I did provide the text. 

Edited by Tacenda
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11 minutes ago, bluebell said:

What did he do to embroil the church?  

Invoking his faith (his membership in the Church is widely known) and certain of the cultural trappings of the Church such as the hymn. 
 

Just review his speech before the Senate and the attendant news media interviews. I’m surprised you have to ask that question. 
 

Have you read the Hal Boyd op-ed piece I just linked to? It’s worth a look. 

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1 minute ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Actually, he said he wanted witnesses not to see whether or not Trump was guilty, but whether anything exculpatory relative to overwhelming public evidence could be produced.  The Bolton and Parness and Freedom information information that was in the news did not come through formal channels, but it did not provide any hint or suggestion that Trump was anything other than guilty as charged. Trump's obstruction on documents and witnesses and attacks on whistle blower in violation of law all weigh in the balance.  If had exculpatory documents, he'd have every reason to provide them.   But he obstructed, and lied and lied and lied some more, and called people names, and lied and lied some more.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/05/mitt-romney-impeachment-vote-speech-transcript-110849

And since it turned out that witness testimony we got confirmed and extended the whistleblower concern, and the partial transcript actually showed that the whistleblower and witness testimony was correct, and the additional information that came out showed that the whole mess has been ongoing for months, starting with the previous administration in Ukraine, even before Zelinsky was elected, it would take a very strong ideological commitment to dismiss all of the confirming evidence.  Indeed Politifact gave Trump's claim that the whistleblower got the call completely wrong a "Pants on Fire" rating.

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/oct/09/donald-trump/donald-trump-whistleblower-got-phone-call-almost-c/

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

I'm not disagreeing with you. Again, I respect Sen. Romney a lot. I have listened to many statements by Romney leading up to the vote and like I said in my reply to Bluebell, some of those he made more detailed quotes, like the one you're quoting, some were just short snippets. One of his was so if he could know if Trump was guilty or not. 

I was all for more witnesses as well. I had even hoped for witnesses to be called who were not in the president's cabinet so that Trump could not use executive privilege (e.g. Giuliani). Having said that, none were called during the House investigation even if they had to use subpoena powers they still declined to pursue it, until in the hands of the Senate and then again no more witnesses were called. I wanted those witnesses to be called too.

The petty name calling has been going on since the beginning of politics, I think it is a little bit of a double standard to blame Rush for it. I could be wrong...

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11 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

No one — not Romney or anyone else — should embroil the Church in partisan politics without authorization. I don’t begrudge him defending his action, but I wish he had found a way to do it without opening the Church up to partisan attack. Already I’ve seen ignorant, bigoted and derisive jabs about “Mitt’s magic underwear” and about him “praying to Joseph Smith.” 

Trolls will be trolls.  They don’t need a reason to perpetuate their tripe.  Ignore the trolls.

Having been in the news business, you understand better than most that people in the public eye are regularly criticized at every turn.  Here, it’s clear that Sen. Romney is being attacked not as a result of professing his faith—why he voted the way he did—but because of how he voted.

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3 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I edited, because I tend to post before I read over. And added his speech. Do you care to point out where he brought TCOJCOLDS into it? He did take an oath before God, so what is the problem. Please, I beg of you to point it out. If I'm wrong I'll concede, but please show me since I did provide the text. 

I reiterate that it is well known what church he belongs to. Has been since he ran for President twice. In the public mind, he may be the most prominent member of the Church of our time. 
 

By the way, reducing the name of the Church to initials (as in TCOJCOLDS) does not satisfy what President Nelson asked us to do. He doesn’t want us omitting the name of Christ from the name of the Church. Using initials does that as surely as using nicknames like “Mormon.”

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3 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Invoking his faith (his membership in the Church is widely known) and certain of the cultural trappings of the Church such as the hymn. 
 

Just review his speech before the Senate and the attendant news media interviews. I’m surprised you have to ask that question. 
 

Have you read the Hal Boyd op-ed piece I just linked to? It’s worth a look. 

So what you are saying is that no one should invoke their faith in partisan politics without authorization.  I don't think that statement is a given and I don't agree with it.  It actually seems like a really odd thing for a person of faith to say.  But it does make me wonder, how would a politician go about getting authorization to invoke their faith?   Who do they need authorization from?  God?

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2 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Trolls will be trolls.  They don’t need a reason to perpetuate their tripe.  Ignore the trolls.

Having been in the news business, you understand better than most that people in the public eye are regularly criticized at every turn.  Here, it’s clear that Sen. Romney is being attacked not as a result of professing his faith—why he voted the way he did—but because of how he voted.

But it does give some people what they view as an excuse and justification to let their bigotry show, where they might otherwise have contained themselves. 
 

There is wisdom in the repeated injunction from our Church leaders to keep the Church above the partisan political fray. 

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15 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

A thoughtful op-ed piece from Hal Boyd, one of my former Deseret News colleagues. It aligns with some of the thoughts I’ve been expressing here about the problem with concluding that Romney’s political behavior was mandated  by God. 
 

https://www.deseret.com/opinion/2020/2/5/21125677/romney-impeachment-vote-senate-lds-mormon-faith-christian

What I have seen Romney claim is that voting according to his sincere beliefs regardless of the consequences is mandated by God.  Do you disagree that God mandates such?

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Just now, bluebell said:

So what you are saying is that no one should invoke their faith in partisan politics without authorization.  I don't think that statement is a given and I don't agree with it.  It actually seems like a really odd thing for a person of faith to say.  But it does make me wonder, how would a politician go about getting authorization to invoke their faith?   Who do they need authorization from?  God?

All I’m calling for is what Church leaders have repeated admonished us to do: to not involve the Church in partisan politics. It is reiterated every election year in messages required to be read over the pulpit at sacrament meetings. 

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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

But it does give some people what they view as an excuse and justification to let their bigotry show, where they might otherwise have contained themselves. 
 

There is wisdom in the repeated injunction from our Church leaders to keep the Church above the partisan political fray. 

Having missionaries out tracting does the same thing.  Having general conference does the same thing.  Temples do the same thing.  Someone bearing their testimony on facebook does the same thing.  I sincerely don't think that God cares that public sincere expressions of faith open His church up to criticism.  

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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

What I have seen Romney claim is that voting according to his sincere beliefs regardless of the consequences is mandated by God.  Do you disagree that God mandates such?

I believe the implication has gone forth — intended or not — that voting to convict Trump is what God told Romney to do. 

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43 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

No one — not Romney or anyone else — should embroil the Church in partisan politics without authorization. I don’t begrudge him defending his action, but I wish he had found a way to do it without opening the Church up to partisan attack. Already I’ve seen ignorant, bigoted and derisive jabs about “Mitt’s magic underwear” and about him “praying to Joseph Smith.” 

I can sympathize with that view.

I arrived a different perspective while considering the same possibility of attack. Those who bring up magic underwear, praying to Joseph Smith, etc were unlikely to be sympathetic to the Church regardless, and were unlikely to be moved by a party-line vote from Senator Romney. I also considered whether he dragged the Church into it at all, or whether he dragged his own personal convictions and relationship with God, prayer, and what he feels to be personal revelation. While some might feel that was inappropriate to share, I won't begrudge him the ability to share it if he felt compelled to do so. On a final note, by his participating in this place, it may be argued that he took an explicitly partisan process and added in a dose of bipartisan decision making.

Edit: Put another way, I would not personally consider citing one's personal convictions, communications with God, or religious principles with implicitly or explicitly involving the Church, and I think that self-censoring such convictions is too high of a bar that even the Church does not ask of us.

Edited by halconero
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3 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Having missionaries out tracting does the same thing.  Having general conference does the same thing.  Temples do the same thing.  Someone bearing their testimony on facebook does the same thing.  I sincerely don't think that God cares that public sincere expressions of faith open His church up to criticism.  

I’m speaking not of sincere expressions of faith but of allowing the erroneous impression to go out that the Church endorses this or that partisan political position when the Church has made no such endorsement. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

All I’m calling for is what Church leaders have repeated admonished us to do: to not involve the Church in partisan politics. It is reiterated every election year in messages required to be read over the pulpit at sacrament meetings. 

Where does the church say not to invoke your faith in partisan politics though?  That's specifically what I'm asking to see.  I get what you are saying but my point is that I don't agree with your interpretation of what involving the church in politics actually is.   I don't think our leaders meant that no politician should ever invoke their faith in God (which is what Romney did and all that Romney did) when doing their political duty.  

I don't think it's correct to equate invoking faith in God with 'involving the church in partisan politics'.

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2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Where does the church say not to invoke your faith in partisan politics though?  That's specifically what I'm asking to see.  I get what you are saying but my point is that I don't agree with your interpretation of what involving the church in politics actually is.   I don't think our leaders meant that no politician should ever invoke their faith in God (which is what Romney did and all that Romney did) when doing their political duty.  

I don't think it's correct to equate invoking faith in God with 'involving the church in partisan politics'.

I never said the Church said not to express your faith. Can you not understand there is a difference between doing that and conveying the false impression, intended or not, that the Church endorses a particular political position?

 

Whether or not Romney did that with his statements yesterday is a matter on which we are going to have to disagree. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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3 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I believe the implication has gone forth — intended or not — that voting to convict Trump is what God told Romney to do. 

Being a member of this board has taught me that there are always people who are going to misunderstand or interpret what people say.  We see this all the time, especially when our church leaders give talks.   

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6 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I’m speaking not of sincere expressions of faith but of allowing the erroneous impression to go out that the Church endorses this or that partisan political position when the Church has made no such endorsement. 

I can't imagine that anyone with sincere motives believes that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has endorsed Romney's vote for removal of the president.  And I don't care about the opinions of those with insincere motives.  

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8 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Being a member of this board has taught me that there are always people who are going to misunderstand or interpret what people say.  We see this all the time, especially when our church leaders give talks.   

We ought to do all we can to avoid conveying a false impression, especially on a matter as serious as whether or not the Church endorses a political position. We have been asked to do as much in repeated injunctions from our leaders. 
 

Romney, in his public statements, could have given a disclaimer that he was not speaking in behalf of his church nor was he meaning to imply that the Church has taken a position on impeachment or removal from office. I have not seen where he has done that. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

I can't imagine that anyone with sincere motives believes that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has endorsed Romney's vote for removal of the president.  And I don't care about the opinions of those with insincere motives.  

A survey of internet chatter over the past day or so has persuaded me otherwise. 

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