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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) will vote to convict President Trump for abuse of power and acquit him for obstruction of Congress in the Senate impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Romney is the only Republican senator to break ranks and vote to remove Trump from office, though the president is still expected to be acquitted later today.

  • Romney — who appeared choked up on the Senate floor as he announced his vote — was the Democrats' last chance for a bipartisan conviction vote, after Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced Tuesday that she will vote to acquit the president.
  • Romney and Collins were the only two Republican senators who voted last week to allow witnesses and documents in the trial — a call that otherwise failed along party lines.

Between the lines: The decision is sure to infuriate Trump, who has railed against Romney several times in the past over the senator's criticisms of his conduct.

  • Even if Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) vote to acquit Trump, the president will not be able to tout a bipartisan acquittal without the context that there was a bipartisan call to remove him from office.
  • Romney will become the first senator ever to vote to remove a president who belongs to their own party.

What he's saying:

  • "The president delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders," Romney said in a speech on the Senate floor. "The president's purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust."
  • "What he did was not perfect," he continued. "No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine."
  • Romney also acknowledged the potential political backlash from his decision, stating, "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?"

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Sen. Susan Collins represents Maine (not Utah).

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

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