Romney Votes to Convict in spite of Forseen Trump Acquittal

Patrick Kane, Staff Reporter

 On Feb. 5, the U.S. Senate formally voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump on both charges of corruption for which he was impeached by the House of Representatives. The outcome, which was almost a guarantee from the start of the trial because of the Senate being majority Republican, was expected to fall along party lines. This turned out not to be the case, as Utah Sen. Mitt Romney voted to convict President Trump on the charge of abuse of power, an event that almost overshadowed the president’s acquittal in the press. With this, Romney became the first senator in American history to vote to remove a president of his party.

 According to Cable News Network, Romney was expected to be a key swing vote during the impeachment trial from the beginning. Though the measure was ultimately blocked, Romney voted with Democrats to grant additional witnesses, namely former National Security Advisor John Bolton. 

In the days leading up to the final vote, many in the media and the Senate were unsure of how Romney would vote. However, on the day of the vote, Romney appeared on Fox News to announce he would in fact be voting to convict Trump for abuse of power. 

During his speech on the Senate floor, Romney argued that he took an oath under God to be impartial, and he wished to honor that. He stated he believed that the president’s legal team failed to properly rebut the House managers’ case, and that what the president did was clearly and flagrantly wrong. Romney concluded, “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.” 

In response to his vote, Trump attacked      Romney on Twitter, saying, “Had failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election.”

While many in the media and politics were surprised by Romney’s vote, Colin Swearingen, associate professor of political science at John Carroll, wasn’t taken back in the slightest. “What differentiates [Romney] from people like Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski was that Romney has taken a more measured approach to Donald Trump,” he said. “During his Senate campaign in Utah, he made it very clear he would not just give in to anything and everything Trump wanted.”