The wave of impeachment has covered the minds of citizens and much of the country today. As the government supporters are backing Trump, portraying him innocent in the impeachment trials, one of the fellow Republican senators, Mitt Romney, stood against him in a dramatic manner.
Romney’s announcement, in a nearly empty Senate chamber, that he would vote to convict President Trump on the impeachment charge of abuse of power surprised much of the nation. The announcement came hours after the fellow GOP colleagues such as Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) announced that they would not vote to convict Trump.
Unlike other Republican senators, who criticized Trump for an “inappropriate” conduct, Mitt Romney, who was also the GOP presidential nominee from Utah in 2012, said that “the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust” and “a flagrant assault on our electoral rights”.
“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.’ Yes, he did,” Romney added. Accusing the president of obstruction of Congress, Romney voted against the second article of impeachment.
At present, the president is facing two articles of impeachment. Firstly, Trump is accused of seeking help from Ukrainian government to get re-elected in the November elections. The witnesses in the trial stated that Trump wanted Ukraine to publicly announce an investigation into Joe Biden, a political rival. He has also been alleged to have held back millions of dollars of military aid to Ukraine and dangled a proposed White House meeting with Ukrainian president.
Secondly, the Democrats accused Trump of obstructing Congress, after the White House refused to allow the staff to testify the first impeachment hearings last year. Amid all, the president has denied all kinds of wrongdoings in the matter. What is even more shocking is the fact that even after all the accusations and criticisms, Trump is the only Republican face for upcoming presidential elections.
Mitt Romney’s vote against the president, has become a key point that would benefit the Democrats in the weeks and months ahead. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called Romney’s vote “momentous,” while Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said it “restores my faith in democracy.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his disappointment with Romney’s decision. When asked to assess the final Senate and House votes, McConnell said, “I think they’re pretty clearly party lines both ways. I think that’s what you can take out of it, pretty much party line in both chambers.”
Similarly, Republicans Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz conveyed mix responses, with the former saying that he was confused, while the latter disagreeing with Mitt Romney’s decision. Soon after the distraction created by Romney, the White House canceled a press availability for Trump and Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, that was scheduled to take place in the Oval Office.
On the other hand, Mitt Romney’s decision to vote against the president has set new standards for GOP lawmakers, who have long sought to challenge the president, but were reluctant in stepping forward. Meanwhile, the Republicans have different points of view upon Romney’s voting, with many protecting him with the belief that “every senator has a right to vote how he or she feels”.
As the Democrats fell short of the 67 votes needed to convict Trump and remove him from office, the Senate, in the end, acquitted the president, ending the months long historic battle of impeachment. Though the government has succeeded in achieving a temporary victory, Trump’s fate now lies at the hands of the voters.