Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) revealed in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace Wednesday that he made the decision to “follow [his] conscience” and vote to convict President Donald Trump on the abuse of power charge in the impeachment trial.
“I believe that the act he took, an effort to corrupt an election is as destructive an attack on the oath of office and our Constitution as I can imagine,” Romney said. “It is a high crime and misdemeanor within the meaning of the Constitution, and that is not a decision I take lightly. It is the last decision I want to take.”
When asked about potential blowback from the president, the Utah lawmaker told Wallace: “It is a high crime and misdemeanor within the meaning of the Constitution, and that is not a decision I take lightly. It is the last decision I want to take.”
“I understand there’s going to be enormous consequence,” he added. “And I don’t have a choice in that regard. That’s why — that’s why I haven’t been anxious to be in the position I’m in.”
Romney is voting to convict on the abuse of power article, which is predicated on the allegation that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating the business dealings of Hunter and Joe Biden by withholding military aid to the European country, all in order to influence the 2020 election.
Romney is not voting to convict the president on the obstruction of Congress charge.
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee said his faith played a role in his decision, and that any political benefit he might gain from joining with fellow Republicans to acquit President Trump would not compare to his moral obligations and the oath he took when sworn into the Senate.
“Yeah, again, I can’t let personal considerations, if you will, overwhelm my conscience and overwhelm my oath to God,” Romney said. “I mean, this for me is ... well it’s the most difficult decision I’ve ever made in my life. There’s been nothing that compares to this.”
Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the one of the chief Democrats at the head of the impeachment effort against the president, praised Romney’s decision to convict, saying it “showed a lot of moral courage.”
It’s uncertain to what degree Romney will face pushback from the Republican base in his state, but he told Wallace he was ready for any repercussions.
“Yeah, it’s going to get very lonely,” he said. “And again, the consequences are significant. They’re, um, uh — they’re enough that it made this a very difficult process for me. There has not been a morning since this process began that I’ve slept beyond 4:00 a.m.”
The senator also spoke about potential consequences for his family, but maintained that the concerns did not outweigh his sense of duty:
I have spoken a good deal with my family because this will have consequence — the blowback will have consequence, not just for me, but for my family, for my wife, for my sons, for my daughters-in-law, for my 24 grandkids.
That’s why the burden has been so substantial as I’ve done this, but they all said, you’ve got to do what you believe is right. There was no call to pull back or, gee, dad, ya know, this is going to be tough. They said, do what you believe is right.
Romney, who served as Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, was elected to the U.S. Senate from his new home of Utah in 2018, meaning he won’t be up for reelection until 2024. He stated that the fallout from his impeachment decision would not be as bad as losing the 2012 election.
After saying he agrees with President Trump “80 percent of the time,” Romney told Wallace: “I don’t dislike the president. We get along fine. I’ve known him for years and years, well before politics, before either one of us was in politics. But I believe he made a very serious miscalculation of judgment, one that strikes at the very core of our Constitution.”
Romney’s announcement comes as President Trump’s acquittal continues on track. Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.), considered a swing voter because he hails from red Alabama, said he will vote with his party to convict.
Meanwhile, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), who, like Romney, often finds herself at odds with the president, announced Tuesday that she will vote to acquit, though she called President Trump’s conduct “wrong.”
Photo: AP Images
Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.