Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney wrote that it would be “troubling in the extreme” if President Donald Trump “asked or pressured” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings in the country.
“If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme,” Romney tweeted. “Critical for the facts to come out.”
If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) September 22, 2019
In calling for the “facts to come out,” Romney, the first Republican to criticize the alleged call, appeared to call for some sort of investigation into the matter.
That drew the attention of Trump critics. Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin tagged Bill Kristol:
Hmmmmm cc @BillKristol
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) September 22, 2019
Rubin then expressed hope that Romney would “vote to convict” Trump on potential impeachment.
This is significant. Romney in effect endorses a congressional inquiry (how else are the facts going to come out?) and rejects ahead of time any justification for stonewalling. And he does seem to suggest that if the facts are what they seem, he might be a Senate vote to convict. https://t.co/bqq8LY6kkk
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) September 22, 2019
However, as pointed out by HuffPost politics reporter Igor Bobic, Romney didn’t directly call for an investigation by the Senate committee on which he sits:
Romney sits on the Foreign Relations committee, which could launch an investigation/hearing if it wanted to. He doesn’t call for one in this tweet though https://t.co/s4YHkVeLAp
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) September 22, 2019
A whistleblower claimed that President Trump in a July 25 phone call asked the Ukrainian president at least eight times to investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings. However, the whistleblower’s complaint appeared to be based on hearsay, not direct knowledge of the call. (RELATED: Biden Says He Never Discussed Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Deal. Hunter Says He Did)
Further, a senior administration official told Fox News’ Ed Henry that the call itself contained “no quid pro quo” offer from Trump to the Ukrainian president, and even claimed that it would be “in the president’s interest” to release the transcript.