Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney defied the majority of his party when he announced Wednesday he would side with Democrats and support one article of impeachment to remove President Trump from office.
“The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust,” Romney said on the floor of the Senate, signaling he would support the “obstruction of Congress” charge.
“The president did in fact pressure a foreign government to corrupt our election process,” Romney said in an interview with The Atlantic.
“And really, corrupting an election process in a democratic republic is about as abusive and egregious an act against the Constitution—and one’s oath—that I can imagine. It’s what autocrats do,” Romney continued.
Romney is the only Republican to support the Democrat-led House’s impeachment. Fellow moderate Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have said they would not support either of the two impeachment articles, the other being “abuse of power.”
The junior Utah senator will become the first to vote to impeach a president from his own party.
Also, according to reports, the vote will likely set in motion friction between him, the president, and Republican National Committee chairwoman Rona Romney McDaniel, the senator’s niece.
“The bottom line is President Trump did nothing wrong, and the Republican Party is more united than ever behind him,” McDaniel wrote on Twitter shortly following the senator’s announcement. “I, along with the, stand with President Trump.”