Romney Throws a Wrench into GOP Plans to Smear Biden [Update: The Fix Analyzes Romney's Move]

Mitt Romney is once again showing that it’s possible for a Republican to stand up to Trump and survive. The Hill reported about an hour ago that Romney is calling the newly revived Hunter Biden “investigation” out for what it is: a political stunt.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on Thursday that a GOP investigation into Hunter Biden and Ukrainian gas company Burisma “appears political,” and that people are “tired” of political investigations.

“There's no question but that the appearance of looking into Burisma and Hunter Biden appears political, and I think people are tired of these kind of political investigations,” Romney told reporters.

Yes, “appears” can be a weasel word, but in this case I don’t think that’s how Romney is using it, because Romney is a member of Ron Johnson’s committee:

Because Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.), the top Democrat on the committee, is opposing it, Johnson will need a simple majority to issue the subpoena.

Republicans hold an 8-6 majority on the committee. That means a “no” vote from Romney will result in a 7-7 tie, which would result in the subpoena failing.  

Romney actually put his money where his mouth was last month when he became the first Senator in history to vote to convict an impeached president from his own party. So yes, I do read this as a signal from Romney to Moscow Mitch and Co.: Do not go down this path. I can stop you.

And the way he brushed off Trump-manufactured hate and hysteria at his conviction vote gives me some confidence that Romney will go through with it.

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There’s a lot about Romney that I’ve never liked, not least his tendency to shift with the prevailing wind. But this time he’s got a secure political position for as long as he wants it, plus he’s old enough to be thinking that he’s going to have to justify his actions to his creator before too long. That speech he gave explaining his Yes vote on impeachment certainly ran along those lines. Refusing to go along with an obvious sham investigation based on lies is another test of his moral convictions. Don’t knock it.