This story is developing.
NY Times reports Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said Wednesday that he would vote to convict President Trump of abuse of power, making him the first Republican to support removing Mr. Trump for his bid to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.
“I think the case was made,” Mr. Romney said in an interview in his Senate office on Wednesday morning, ahead of an afternoon floor speech announcing his stance.
Mr. Romney said he would vote against the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, arguing that House Democrats had failed to exhaust their legal options for securing testimony and other evidence they had sought. But the first-term senator said that Democrats had proven their first charge, that the president had misused his office for his own personal gain.
“I believe that attempting to corrupt an election to maintain power is about as egregious an assault on the Constitution as can be made,” Mr. Romney added, appearing by turns relieved and nervous — but also determined — as he explained his decision. “And for that reason, it is a high crime and misdemeanor, and I have no choice under the oath that I took but to express that conclusion.”
"The grave question the Constitution tasks Senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor.
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) February 5, 2020
Sen. Mitt Romney says he knows he will receive brutal criticism for his vote: "Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences, other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?" https://t.co/pZ46hjTyU1 pic.twitter.com/BnW9SfCXaM
— ABC News (@ABC) February 5, 2020
.@MittRomney: "the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust."
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 5, 2020
Trump supporters reacted to the news on social media.
.@MittRomney is a disgrace. A pathetic disgrace.
He will vote to convict
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) February 5, 2020
Mitt Romney will vote to CONVICT the President on the charge of Abuse of Power
He should be ashamed
This vote is all about his deep personal hatred for President Trump
Mitt Romney is not a Republican
RT if the people of Utah should vote to RECALL Mitt Romney NOW!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 5, 2020
Liberals hailed Romney as having “incredible guts.”
Say whatever else you will about what Mitt Romney did today, but it took incredible guts to walk onto the floor today and do that.
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) February 5, 2020
What Mitt Romney just did will forever change how history looks at Trump's impeachment trial, and will magnify a thousandfold the extent to which the rest of his party betrayed their oath to the Constitution in order to protect a dangerous, lawless & corrupt demagogue.
— Jon Zal (@OfficialJonZal) February 5, 2020
Per TheAtlantic, Romney’s vote will do little to reorient the political landscape. The president’s acquittal has been all but certain for weeks, as Republicans have circled the wagons to protect Trump. But the Utahan’s sharp indictment ensures that at least one dissenting voice from within the president’s party will be on the record—and Romney seems to believe history will vindicate his decision.
He also knows his vote will likely make him a pariah on the right. Already, he says, he’s experienced firsthand the ire of the base.
At an airport recently, a stranger yelled at him, “You ought to be ashamed!” During a trip to Florida with his wife this past weekend, someone shouted “Traitor!” from a car window.
This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com