“AN ACT OF CONVICTION”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 5, 2020) — Just after 2:00 p.m. EST, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced on the Senate floor that he will vote affirmatively to remove President Trump from office.
“My vote is an act of conviction,” Romney said.
His remarks came during the final day of floor time Senate members are exercising prior to the 4:00 p.m. final vote.
Acknowledging that fellow Republicans may spurn him, he added, “My vote will likely be in the minority.”
Regarding the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy which set off the effort to remove Trump from office, Romney said he must follow “the dictates of my conscience.”
Romney was one of two Republicans who voted Friday to call witnesses not heard from by the House during its impeachment hearings between late September and early December. Since Romney’s election to the Senate in November 2018, he has shown particular animus toward Trump, although Trump endorsed Romney during his candidacy.
On December 18, the House passed two Articles of Impeachment stemming from the phone call: one for “abuse of power” and the other for “obstruction of Congress.”
In a prerecorded interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace played after Romney made his live revelation on the Senate floor, Romney is shown stating he will vote in favor of “abuse of power” but not “obstruction of Congress.”
Wallace stated as a matter of fact that Trump will mete out “blowback” against Romney for his vote, which Romney acknowledged. “I believe in God, and I believe I have a responsibility to put that first…” Romney told Wallace.
“It’s going to get pretty lonely” in the nation’s capital, Romney agreed after Wallace made the suggestion. As for his family’s reaction, Romney told Wallace that he discussed the issue with family members extensively and that they advised him, “You gotta do what you gotta do.”
Romney acknowledged that his “political career” might end as a result of his decision. “What the president did was grievously wrong,” he said. “I don’t dislike the president; we get along fine,” he added, “but I believe he made a very serious miscalculation of judgment.”
Throughout his floor statements and interview with Wallace, Romney stressed his “faith” and relationship with God. “I am profoundly religious; my faith is at the heart of who I am,” he said on the Senate floor.
Romney may be the only Republican who votes to convict on either Article. A two-thirds majority of senators present during the vote is required constitutionally to remove a sitting president or other “civil officer” so impeached.
Wallace told Fox News anchor Dana Perino in commentary afterward that he thinks Romney is acting out of his “deeply-held belief.”
Wallace acknowledged that Trump is “more popular” among Utahns than Romney presently and that there is an effort in play in the form of a state bill proposal to enable the recall of U.S. senators.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.