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It’s Sad That Mitt Romney Is the Only Republican Willing to Vote to Convict Trump in Impeachment Trial

Mitt Romney surrounded by cell phones

(image: Alex Wong/Getty)

Mitt Romney, former Massachusets governor, and current Utah senator has stood up to Donald Trump before, calling out his horrible behavior and speaking up at the beginning of the impeachment inquiry to say that Trump soliciting of foreign interference in US elections was “wrong and appalling.”

Well, Romeny is sticking with his convictions and voting today to convict Trump for abuse of power in his impeachment trial in the Senate.

“I swore an oath before God to apply impartial justice. And, as you know, I’m a very religious person. I take that very seriously,” Romney said of the vote. He spoke powerfully and plainly to support his vote on the Senate floor.

We know, sadly, that this will not turn the tide against Trump, but it’s incredibly powerful and even a bit inspiring to see a respected, articulate Republican simply state the truth—even if that should honestly be their minimum job requirement. Yes. He did violate the law, and yes, he should be removed from office. Romney only voted to convict on one count however: abuse of power, but not obstruction of Congress. SIGH.

It’s foolish to assume that these words will reach any of Romney’s colleagues, who long ago abandoned their principles and oaths of office because they fear Trump’s wrath and want to hang on to their own power. But I hope these words echo in their ears and make it a little harder for them to sleep at night. (Well, some of them. Mitch McConnell doesn’t sleep; he just crawls in his shell and rests next to a warm fire kindled by copies of the constitution.)

Romney was clear in his statements that he “was sure to hear abuse from the President” and face anger and condemnation from his own party—the same president who CBS reported had threatened Republican senators about voting against him, and the same party that pretended to be very offended by the idea that the threat existed, even though the president’s son is already on Twitter calling for that threat to be carried out on Romney with the party seemingly falling in line.

But Romney was also clear that he made this vote knowing those consequences and that his willingness to face such abuse should be a clear indicator of his earnest conviction that this vote is his duty.

Romney did what no other Republican has been willing to do: State in no uncertain terms that what Trump did “was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values.”

The White House, for their part, is signaling some unhappiness with the fact that a member of Trump’s own party (one whom Trump has called a “pompous ass”) dared to defy him.

For one, I do not want to know what a “pool spray” is in the context of Trump, but on a day when this horrible, vile little man is going to be acquitted, anything that keeps him from touting a complete victory and makes him angry is a win.

It’s a sad day for democracy an America when we’re celebrating that a single man did what was right instead of what his political party demanded, stood up against the president, and showed some spine. This isn’t a victory for Romney; it a sad and embarrassing failure for everyone else in his party who won’t honor the truth or their oaths. It’s not that Mitt should be proud, but every other republican member of the senate that votes to acquit should be ashamed.

(via Salt Lake Tribune)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.