I suspect the letter writer who praised Mitt Romney as a principled, courageous senator for voting for removal, was a supporter of removal, and therefore praising Romney and disparaging, by implication, senators who voted against removal. I believe the majority of senators, who voted against and who voted for, did so in good faith, and on a principled basis.
I found the statement by Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee to be a more principled approach than Romney’s. The fundamental issue was whether the president’s conduct amounted to an impeachable offense under the standard in the Constitution. I felt the better position was that by Professor Alan Dershowitz: The standard requires a common law crime in the nature of treason or bribery, which was not charged by the House. Add to that we know the framers sought to prevent partisan impeachment, or nebulous charges such as mal-administration. This impeachment failed on both counts, as it was decidedly a partisan impeachment, which charged “abuse of power.” If this belief makes Alexander or myself unprincipled in the letter writer’s mind, so be it. But such feelings add little to the discussion.
Finally, the assertion that a trial without witnesses is not a trial, as argued by Democratic proponents, is not true. It is standard to have “trials” without witnesses where the charges do not amount to a viable claim in the minds of judges. Not to mention that there were “fact” witnesses, all of whom were chosen by House Intelligence Committee leadership, and thousands of pages of documents, on the basis of which the House asserted they had established a legal, factual basis for impeachment. A majority of senators disagreed.