WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, voted Wednesday to convict President Donald Trump on abuse of power charge, the only Republican senator to do so.
The Senate voted to acquit Trump on two charges, an expected outcome to the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history.
The chamber voted 52-48 in favor of the president on an abuse of power charge and 53-47 on an obstruction of Congress charge. Romney voted to acquit him on this charge.
A two-thirds majority vote was required to remove him from office on either charge, meaning 20 Republicans would have had to break ranks and vote with Democrats.
Had the chamber voted to convict Trump, he would’ve become the first U.S. president to be removed from office under the impeachment process.
“I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice,” Romney said earlier Wednesday when announcing his plans to vote in favor of conviction. “I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am.”
He said Trump was “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”
He shared the video above on both his Twitter and Facebook pages.
Romney’s vote ignited a firestorm on Twitter, with Trump tweeting before the vote: “Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he’s joining them now. He’s now officially a member of the resistance and should be expelled from the GOP.”
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff tweeted before the vote: “Having proven Trump guilty, I asked if there was just one Republican senator who would say ‘enough,’ who would stand up against this dangerously immoral president, who would display moral courage, who would do impartial justice as their oath required and convict. And there is.”
The hashtag #RecallRomney was trending Wednesday afternoon, with some 37,000 tweets as of 3:15 p.m. However, so were #MittRomneyIsMyHero and #ThankYouMittRomney
At the center of the case was Trump’s decision to withhold hundreds of millions in military aid to Ukraine and his pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations of Biden and his son Hunter Biden, a former board member at Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Democrats argued the aid and a White House visit for Zelensky were used as leverage to obtain the Biden investigations.
White House attorneys countered that Democrats haven’t provided sufficient evidence of what motivated the decision to delay the aid, which was ultimately sent in September. Trump’s team has dismissed the impeachment effort as a partisan attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election.