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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

8 mins ago - Health

The drugs pushing prescription prices down for Medicare patients

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Although net prices of brand-name drugs have increased significantly over the last decade, the savings produced by generics have actually driven average prescription prices down in Medicare's pharmacy benefit and Medicaid, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

Why it matters: The analysis reiterates that the generic market is largely working as intended.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
52 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicle "tsunami" expected as new models hit market

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Bank of America analysts see 2022 as a "major year of commercialization" for the electric vehicle market amid a slew of new vehicle launches and many more on the horizon.

Driving the news: Over 85 new models are slated to launch in model years 2022-2025 (calendar 2021-2024), they said in a note that says a "tsunami" of new cars are coming.

2 hours ago - Sports

Robot umpires inch closer to calling MLB games

The Automated Ball-Strike system (ABS), the tech powering what's colloquially known as robo-umps, is inching ever closer to the big leagues.

Driving the news: The independent Atlantic League — which has partnered with MLB since 2019 — last week announced it was doing away with robo-umps after testing them for the past season-and-a-half.