On Saturday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joined six fellow Republicans in supporting the conviction of ex-President Donald Trump following his impeachment last month by the House on a charge of incitement of insurrection. On January 6, a Trump-inspired mob stormed the Capitol under the explicit pretense of his deranged lies about the 2020 presidential election, which he claimed was rigged for Biden, and while at the Capitol, these frenzied supporters of the now former president attempted to forcibly stop the formal certification of Biden’s victory. After the final trial vote, Romney issued a public statement in which he again condemned Trump’s behavior.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted to acquit Donald Trump, says the former President is "practically and morally responsible" for provoking the events on January 6, calling his actions before the riot "a disgraceful dereliction of duty" pic.twitter.com/alHn57aXP1
— CNN (@CNN) February 13, 2021
Romney said, in part, as follows:
‘After careful consideration of the respective counsels’ arguments, I have concluded that President Trump is guilty of the charge made by the House of Representatives. President Trump attempted to corrupt the election by pressuring the Secretary of State of Georgia to falsify the election results in his state. President Trump incited the insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office to summon his supporters to Washington on January 6th and urging them to march on the Capitol during the counting of electoral votes. He did this despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day. President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President, and others in the Capitol.’
Click on the post below to read his full statement:
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 13, 2021
Romney actually figured prominently at one point during the trial when House impeachment case managers presented security footage showing a moment when Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman directed Romney towards safety. In the footage, when Goodman and Romney encountered each other in a hallway, the officer directed Romney to turn completely around from where he was going, possibly saving the Senator from potential physical harm. The House team shared this footage as part of a presentation outlining the seriousness of the attack at the Capitol.
The House showed new footage today of Officer Goodman running to respond to the Capitol rioters. You see him passing Mitt Romney and directing the senator to turn around toward safety.
— POLITICO (@politico) February 10, 2021
After the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered blame for Trump for the Capitol rioting but insisted that he believed that putting Trump on trial in the Senate was not appropriate because the ex-president is no longer in office. McConnell himself was Majority Leader in the immediate aftermath of the original impeachment, and he could have intervened to ensure that the trial took place before Trump left office, but he did no such thing. Now, his vote against convicting Trump wasn’t some kind of “no comment” gesture — it was a vote to acquit, and no after-the-fact rhetoric will change this reality.
Nancy Pelosi responds to Mitch McConnell: "It is so pathetic that Senator McConnell kept the Senate shut down so that the Senate could not receive the Article of Impeachment and has used that as his excuse for not voting to convict Donald Trump."
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 13, 2021