It’s a lonely place to be, but Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) was the only Republican member of the Senate to vote to convict Donald Trump. He choked back tears as he talked about his decision ahead of the impeachment vote. Here are some excerpts from the speech he gave on the Senate floor:
“The grave question the Constitution tasked 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. the president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The president withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so. The president delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. The president’s purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust. What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values. 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.”
“I’m aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters I will be vehemently denounced denounce denounced. I’m sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?”
“I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability believing that my country expected it of me. I will only be one name among many, no more, no less to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong. We are all footnotes at best in the annals of history, but in the most powerful nation on earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice, that distinction is enough for any citizen. Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.”
CNN political analyst John Avlon said: “This was a brave, courageous speech. He will catch hell from the right, as he predicted, but that will look on well in the eyes of history.”
Watch the full speech above.