Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney Wednesday announced that he will vote to convict President Trump of abuse of power, though not obstruction of Congress.
Romney, likely to be the only Republican voting to convict, spoke on the floor of the Senate.
A day earlier, he spoke with The Atlantic about his reasoning:
Mitt Romney didn’t want to go through with it.
“This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life,” he told me yesterday afternoon in his Senate office. Roughly 24 hours later, Romney would deliver a speech announcing that he was voting to convict President Donald Trump on the first article of impeachment—abuse of power. For weeks, the senator from Utah had sat silently in the impeachment trial alongside his 99 colleagues, reviewing the evidence at night and praying for guidance. The gravity of the moment weighed on him, as did the pressure from members of his own party to acquit their leader. As his conscience tugged at him, he said, the exercise took on a spiritual dimension.
Romney, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, described to me the power of taking an oath before God: “It’s something which I take very seriously.” Throughout the trial, he said, he was guided by his father’s favorite verse of Mormon scripture: Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good. “I have gone through a process of very thorough analysis and searching, and I have prayed through this process,” he told me. “But I don’t pretend that God told me what to do.”
In the end, the evidence was inescapable. “The president did in fact pressure a foreign government to corrupt our election process,” Romney said. “And really, corrupting an election process in a democratic republic is about as abusive and egregious an act against the Constitution—and one’s oath—that I can imagine. It’s what autocrats do.”
Well, this is Washington, and if Trump had made him Secretary of State, a position he sought after condemning Trump as the devil during the campaign, I gather he might have had a different view of convicting Trump.
Now Trump cannot completely claim that it was a partisan impeachment. Romney, of course, fully understands that.