Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is taking some criticism from people disappointed that he didn't say he'd join efforts to oppose Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's impeachment trial rules.
The evening before the impeachment trial was set to start on Tuesday, McConnell (R-Ky.) unveiled the package of rules to govern how the trial operates — which has been a point of contention on Capitol Hill for weeks — and that package was summarily lambasted by congressional Democrats.
The House Democrats tasked as managers for the impeachment trial said that the rules were different from the ones used during the Clinton impeachment trial and represented "an effort to prevent the full truth of the President's misconduct from coming to light."
At a news conference Tuesday morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) criticized McConnell's rules package as a partisan measure that appeared "to be designed by President Trump for President Trump."
"It appears that leader McConnell decided to go along with the president's desire to cover up his wrongdoing, hook, line and sinker," Schumer said. "It almost seems the resolution was written in the White House, not the Senate."
Schumer also said that he would put forward amendments to the package dealing with subpoenas for witness testimony and White House documents.
After Schumer's announcement, in an interview with CNN's Manu Raju, Romney said that the changes from the Clinton rules were "pretty modest" and not "significant in any dramatic way." He went on to add that Democrats "make a mistake when they claim outrage time and time again; if everything is an outrage, then nothing is an outrage."
He also said that, while he still wants to hear from former White House national security adviser John Bolton, he would vote against any witness amendments brought up that day.
This may have come as disappointing to those hoping Romney might possibly deviate from the party line in order to support Schumer's efforts to change the rules on witnesses, given his previously expressed desire to hear from Bolton during the trial.
Romney's remarks to CNN were met with some rather unhappy responses on social media.
Mueller, Bolton, Romney...Are you done thinking these men are going to do the right thing? https://t.co/xFbcbkIV62— Darlene McDonald (@Darlene McDonald) 1579629482.0
This is how cowards like Romney are as dangerous as sycophants like McConnell. They give ‘moderate’ cover to the o… https://t.co/vO2rI1BbCh— Tom Ortenberg (@Tom Ortenberg) 1579628797.0
Mitt Romney will always live down to expectations. https://t.co/qamzKUpv9K— Claude Taylor (@Claude Taylor) 1579629068.0
@JohnBerman @MittRomney @mkraju ROMNEY, YOU ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT. You are a stain on the history of Massachusetts.… https://t.co/XPMguz3EX7— MΞGAN KΞLLΞY HALL (@MΞGAN KΞLLΞY HALL) 1579629075.0
@mkraju Romney is a very small and weak man.— MΞGAN KΞLLΞY HALL (@MΞGAN KΞLLΞY HALL) 1579629339.0
How safe and cozy it must be to live in Mitt Romney's world, where there are no consequences for the rich and powerful.— Jennifer Hayden (@Jennifer Hayden) 1579629744.0
@mkraju I knew Romney wasn’t a stand up guy— Jeramie Rain (@Jeramie Rain) 1579629825.0
But just because of what he said Tuesday doesn't mean he's necessarily in the tank for Trump as this trial goes forward. In a statement dated Tuesday, Romney said that the "allegations outlined in the articles of impeachment passed by the House are extremely serious" and that they "demand that the Senate put political biases aside, and make good faith efforts to listen to arguments from both sides and thoroughly review facts and evidence."