The Salt Lake Tribune, one of the largest newspapers in Utah, is praising Sen. Mitt Romney after the Utah Republican broke ranks with his party earlier this week to vote to convict President Trump for abuse of power.
In an editorial titled, “Mitt Romney’s profile in courage,” the paper’s editorial board said that all Utahns and Americans “should be duly impressed with Romney’s decision to follow his heart and his conscience — and his God — in doing the right thing when doing the right thing was difficult.”
“Mitt Romney could have ducked this one,” they wrote. “He could have voted with the rest of the Republican members of the Senate of the United States to acquit the president of the United States on both of the articles of impeachment brought by the House of Representatives.”
“But when it was crunch time, Romney just could not avert his eyes from the fact that this president had, without a shadow of a doubt, abused his power as commander and chief,” the board continued.
Though the board noted the Utah senator’s “back-and-forth relationship” with Trump in the piece, and how Romney “sought and accepted his endorsement in two political campaigns and interviewed to be his secretary of state,” they added that his vote Wednesday “may be what will deserve to be remembered.”
“In writing this particular footnote, Romney deserves nothing but our thanks and our support,” they concluded in the editorial.
Romney was met with both widespread praise and backlash when he announced he would be breaking with his own party to vote to convict Trump of abuse of power.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the move “very courageous” on Wednesday following an outpouring of support from Democratic lawmakers who commended the senator for the decision.
“I do want to salute Mitt Romney,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Wednesday, adding: “The pressure on every Republican was enormous … The fact that this is bipartisan holds up a beacon to what was right and what was wrong.”
“I can’t tell if Mitt hasn’t forgiven Trump for not picking him for secretary of State, or if Mitt just hasn’t forgiven himself for giving us four unnecessary years of Obama,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told The Hill Wednesday.
When announcing his decision to vote to convict Trump ahead of his vote, Romney said “the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”
“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.”
Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump at the conclusion of his impeachment trial in the Senate on Wednesday, and, according to The Washington Post, the only senator in history to ever vote to remove a president in the same party.