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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.

Go deeper

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

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Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.