Mitt Romney gets choked up as he reveals he'll vote to convict Trump: 'Guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust'
Showing clear emotion in his voice, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah revealed on the Senate floor Wednesday that he will vote to convict President Donald Trump in the impeachment trial.
With the announcement, Romney became the only member of the president's party expected to vote against Trump. He will approve the article of impeachment charging Trump with "abuse of power" in his effort to induce Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a political opponent while voting against the "obstruction of Congress" charge.
He said the president is "guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust."
Early in the speech, he became choked up when talking about his personal faith and paused to gather himself. He called the choice "the most difficult decision I have ever faced."
"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,'" Romney said. "Yes, he did."
Contrary to even those Republicans who mildly criticized Trump without saying what he did warranted removing him from office, Romney emphasized how serious Trump's conduct was.
“Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine,” he said.
He added: "It was a flagrant assault of our electoral rights."
The Utah senator also noted that he voted previously to bring witnesses into the Senate trial, joined by only one of his Republican colleagues, in part because he hoped more evidence would give him reason to acquit the president.
"This is a HUGE development, at least as far as the politics go," tweeted Politico reporter Kyle Cheney. "Trump can't level a 'bipartisan acquittal' charge without being reminded there was a bipartisan call for his removal."