WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, voted to convict President Donald Trump Wednesday of abusing the power of his office in his impeachment trial. Romney is the only Republican senator who has said they support removing Trump from office.
“The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor,” Romney said. “Yes, he did.”
My thoughts on today’s impeachment vote → https://t.co/Tk1OJWnEdc
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) February 5, 2020
Romney appeared to choke up as he spoke of his deep faith and “oath before God” demanding that he vote for impeachment.
“The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust,” Romney said on the Senate floor. “What the president did was wrong, grievously wrong.”
House Democrats prosecuting the case argued that Trump abused power like no other president in history when he pressured Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election.
“Corrupting an election to keep one’s self in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine,” Romney said.
Romney said he’s expecting to hear “abuse” from Trump and his supporters. The two have traded insults since the 2016 election, when Romney called then-candidate Trump a “phony.”
“Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?” Romney said.
The Senate voted to acquit Trump on two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)