On the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday afternoon, Utah Senator Mitt Romney announced he would vote to convict President Trump on the charge of abuse of power, but not on the charge of obstruction of Congress.
“I think the case was made,” Romney said.
During a sometimes emotional speech, Romney laid out his reasoning for his decision.
“What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security, and our national values,” Romney argued, before caling Trump’s actions “perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”
Senator Mitt Romney was one of only two Republicans who voted with Democrats in favor of calling new witnesses in the impeachment trial. The other, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, has already announced her intention to vote to acquit.
“What the president did was wrong,” Romney said. “Grievously wrong.”
President Trump is more popular in the state of Utah than Mitt Romney, making Romney’s vote to convict Trump on abuse of power a potential career killer for him.
“This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life,” he told Mark Wilson of The Atlantic, in an interview that was released as he began speaking on the Senate floor. “The president did in fact pressure a foreign government to corrupt our election process. And really, corrupting an election process in a democratic republic is about as abusive and egregious an act against the Constitution—and one’s oath—that I can imagine. It’s what autocrats do.”
This story is developing.