Feb 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Romney explained impeachment vote in note to 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.

Go deeper

Republicans and Democrats react to Mitt Romney voting to convict Trump

Romney and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) at Trump's State of the Union address on Feb. 4. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

After Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voted to convict President Trump for abuse of power in the impeachment trial Wednesday, Republicans doubled down to rebuke the senator while Democrats rushed to his defense.

What he's saying: "I am aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters, I will be vehemently denounced," Romney said on the Senate floor Wednesday. "I am sure to hear abuse from the President and his supporters."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mitt Romney says he will vote to convict Trump in impeachment trial

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 says he will not vote for Trump in 2020 election

Mitt Romney. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) made clear in an interview with The Atlantic on Wednesday that he will not vote for President Trump's re-election in November.

Driving the news: Romney sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office.