Washington: Senator Mitt Romney of Utah will be remembered as the first senator in American history to vote to remove a president of his own party from office. Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, said he expected swift and extreme recrimination from his party for his solitary act of defiance. He was not incorrect.
On Wednesday, Romney voted to convict Trump of abuse of power for his pressure campaign on Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, including former vice-president Joe Biden.“Attempting to corrupt an election to maintain power is about as egregious an assault on the Constitution as can be made,” Romney said in an interview in his Senate office Wednesday morning, ahead of the vote and an afternoon floor speech in which he choked up as he explained his decision.
He declared Trump “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”
Romney did vote with his party against the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, arguing that House Democrats had failed to exhaust their legal options for securing testimony and other evidence they had sought.
On the Senate floor Wednesday, Romney placed his decision in the context of his faith, his family and how history would remember it.
“I will only be one name among many, no more, no less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial,” Romney said. “They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong.”
Romney had served as governor of Massachusetts before his unsuccessful run against Barack Obama in 2012. He then moved to Utah and eventually ran for the Senate.