Utah Sen. Mitt Romney pledged Wednesday to do what no other GOP senator would: take a vote of conscience to convict Donald Trump of impeachable offenses. Romney's vote seals Trump's fate in the annals of history as the only president to ever draw bipartisan support for removal of office.
But Romney’s declaration from the Senate floor was much more than just a recitation of what he planned to do, it was an unmistakable rebuke of all his Republican colleagues who had abandoned their responsibilities as public servants for the comforts of the GOP's herd mentality. "Were I to ignore the evidence what has been presented and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history's rebuke and the censure of my own conscience," Romney said from the Senate floor. Wow.
In explaining his vote, Romney filleted the arguments of Trump's defense team, namely that Trump couldn't be impeached without having committed a crime, that Biden's conduct warranted Trump's actions, and that the ultimate decision should be left up to the voters. In response, Romney said it "defies reason" to believe that a president can only be removed from office for criminal behavior. As for Joe and Hunter Biden, he concluded there was no evidence of criminal conduct on their part and therefore no justification whatsoever for Trump's call to investigate. "There's no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did," Romney noted. Finally, he explained that the framers had charged the Senate with the power to remove a president precisely so the partisan sentiments of voters wouldn't dictate a president's fate.
After ticking through a list of Trump's actions, Romney concluded, "The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust. What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values."
Romney added that "corrupting an election" in order to stay in office was "perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine."
In short, Romney held up a mirror for the Republican caucus so they could see what a trash heap it had become. In speaking his conscience, he also provided Senate Democrats with a wealth of material for defeating vulnerable Senate Republicans in the upcoming election. Prior to giving his remarks, Romney told the New York Times, “I think the case was made.” He isn't the first GOP senator to agree that Trump did what he’s accused of doing, he's just the first to actually uphold his oath of office. Kudos to him.
Wanna restore responsible leadership to the Senate? Give $2 right now to make that vision a reality in November.
Here’s some excerpts of Romney’s speech.