In a statement on Thursday, Romney said he listened to the arguments by the House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team during the trial.
“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,” Romney wrote.
He noted Trump’s apparent effort to pressure state election officials to overturn the results of the presidential election as well as his decision to encourage his supporters to attend the rally on Jan. 6.
“Despite the obvious and well-known threat of violence, he incited and directed thousands to descend upon the seat of Congress,” he added.
Romney claimed Trump “not only failed to defend the Vice President,” but he “also incited further violence against the Vice President.”
“The President’s conduct represented an unprecedented violation of his oath of office and of the public trust.”
Read the statement below:
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 18, 2021
Romney also suggested that Trump “attempted to breach” the “thin line 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. Accordingly, I voted to convict President Trump,” he added.
The Utah senator turned his attention to Trump’s repeated and unfounded claims that the presidential election was stolen, which he argued further divided the nation and “poisoned our politics and public discourse.”
“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. 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,” he said.
Finally, he urged his colleagues to “affirm what we all know.”
“President Biden won the election through the legitimate vote of the American people. 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.”
Romney is one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump for what lawmakers say was his role in inciting the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
He was also the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump in 2020.
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