Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) released a statement Thursday explaining his vote to convict former President Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and calling on his fellow senators to affirm that President Biden won the election that the pro-Trump mob sought to prevent Congress from certifying.
“The conclusion I reached on the final verdict will not surprise anyone who read my reasoning in the first impeachment trial: I consider an attempt to corrupt an election to keep oneself in power one of the most reprehensible acts that can be taken by a sitting president,” wrote Romney, the only GOP senator to vote to convict Trump in both of his impeachment trials.
“The second impeachment resulted from the President’s continued effort to do just that. The President’s conduct represented an unprecedented violation of his oath of office and of the public trust,” he added.
Romney said the former president “attempted to breach” a line that “separates our democratic republic from an autocracy: it is a free and fair election and the peaceful transfer of power that follows it.”
“What he attempted is what was most feared by the Founders. It is the reason they invested Congress with the power to impeach,” Romney wrote. “Accordingly, I voted to convict President Trump.”
Romney was one of seven GOP senators who joined all 50 Democratic senators in voting to convict Trump on Saturday. However, the chamber fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to find the former president guilty.
Romney’s vote was not surprising, given that his comments critical of Trump and that voted on two occasions that the trial was constitutional. However, he has since faced backlash from conservatives in his state, as have other Republicans from the House and Senate who voted against Trump.
Romney said that “people of conscience reached different conclusions” about Trump but that the accusation that the 2020 election was riddled with widespread voter fraud is “one untruth that divides the nation today like none other.”
“Like you, I hear many calls for unity. It is apparent that calling for unity while at the same time appeasing the big lie of a stolen election is a fraud,” he wrote. “It is the lie that caused the division. It is in the service of that lie that a mob invaded the Capitol on January 6th.”
The former GOP presidential nominee then called on his fellow senators to affirm that Biden won the 2020 president election, saying that it will begin the path of healing for the nation.
“Now that the impeachment trial is behind us, it falls to each of us to affirm what we all know: President Biden won the election through the legitimate vote of the American people,” he wrote. “The division in America will only begin to heal in the light of this truth, a truth which must now be affirmed by each of us in this chamber.”
Via The Hill