Republicans in Utah are seeking to censure Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), after he and six other Republican senators joined Democrats in voting to convict former President Donald Trump.
Trump was acquitted after the Senate failed to reach the 2/3 majority vote needed to convict the former President, but Republicans that voted against him are facing backlash from within the party. Some from their own state parties have even been censured, Pat Toomey (R-PA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Ben Sasse (R-NE) have been censured by their own state parties.
The Utah GOP declined to consider punitive measures against Romney, instead releasing a statement saying both Romney and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) have been criticized for their choices. Lee voted to acquit Trump.
“The differences between our own Utah Republicans showcase a diversity of thought, in contrast to the danger of a party fixated on ‘unanimity of thought,'” In a statement the party said to outlets. “There is power in our differences as a political party, and we look forward to each senator explaining their votes to the people of Utah.”
However, this has not satisfied the Romney critics, who now are drafting a motion to censure the Senator, they declare that he “has failed, and continues to fail, to represent the average conservative Utah Republican voter.”
The petition also says that Romney has misrepresented himself as a Republican, and “prioritized his personal and political vendetta against” Trump at the expense of the party and the U.S. Constitution.
Romney was elected to the Senate in 2018, and he won’t face reelection until 2024. And Romney also voted to convict Trump during his first impeachment trial.
Lee in a statement said he voted to acquit Trump because the House impeachment managers didn’t prove their case.
“The House managers’ burden in this trial was to prove first that the Senate should exercise its impeachment jurisdiction in a case against a former president; and second that he committed the high crime of inciting an insurrection. The House managers did not clear either hurdle,” Lee said. “The fact is that the word ‘incitement’ has a very specific meaning in the law, and Donald Trump’s words and actions on January 6, 2021, fell short of that standard. The House rushed its impeachment without an investigation, charged President Trump with a crime it failed properly to allege, and then sat on its poorly worded Article until after he left office.”
Romney said that he felt Trump was guilty.
“President Trump attempted to corrupt the election by pressuring the secretary of state of Georgia to falsify the election results in his state. President Trump incited the insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office to summon his supporters to Washington on January 6th and urging them to march on the Capitol during the counting of electoral votes. He did this despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day,” he said in a statement. “President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the vice president, and others in the Capitol. Each and every one of these conclusions compels me to support conviction.”