Feb 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Romney explained impeachment vote in note to colleagues

Letter from Mitt Romney to GOP colleagues
A photo of the letter provided to Axios. The letter has sections covered to conceal identifying info.

Mitt Romney explained his vote to convict President Trump in a note to his Republican colleagues, hand-signed “Mitt” in blue ink and delivered Wednesday to their individual boxes in the Senate cloakroom.

Why it matters: The Utah senator and 2012 presidential nominee was the only Republican to go against Trump during impeachment. His notes reflect how much pressure he'll be under to justify himself to a party that's pledged loyalty ahead of Trump's re-election bid.

  • Donald Trump Jr. has called for Romney's expulsion from the party and Romney's niece, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, has publicly criticized him.
  • Romney, who once contemplated serving as Trump's secretary of state, has knowingly set himself up for extended backlash with his vote.

Details: The hand-signed printouts contain relevant excerpts from his floor speech ahead of today's vote.

  • "I take an oath before God as enormously consequential," he wrote in one excerpt explaining how his faith guided his decision.
  • "Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and disruptive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine."
  • He also said he was prepared to be denounced by some and that "my vote is an act of conviction" that followed his conscience.
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