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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

McConnell, McCarthy say 2017 tax law is "red line" in infrastructure talks

The top Republicans in the House and Senate told reporters after meeting with President Biden at the White House that "there is a bipartisan desire to get an outcome" on an infrastructure package, but stressed that revisiting the 2017 tax cuts is a "red line."

Why it matters: Wednesday marked the first time that Biden has hosted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at the White House.

McCarthy: "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy" of Biden's win

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was asked Wednesday whether he was concerned about elevating Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to GOP leadership after she has promoted baseless claims about the election. He responded: "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election."

Why it matters: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was ousted as House GOP conference chair earlier Wednesday — in a vote that McCarthy supported — over her continued criticisms of former President Trump and his lies about election fraud.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Gaza crisis: Casualties pile up with no signs of ceasefire from Israel, Hamas

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip leave their neighborhood on Wednesday following an explosion. Photo: li Jadallah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tel Aviv — With Israel and Hamas now engaged in their most destructive fight in seven years, the Biden administration is dispatching a State Department official to join the de-escalation efforts.

The latest: The Israeli air force attacked a meeting of senior Hamas military leaders on Wednesday in Gaza and reported it had killed the Gaza City Brigade commander and the heads of Hamas’ cyber arm and weapons research and development department, along with at least three other senior officials.

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