Sen. Mitt Romney will vote to convict President Donald Trump on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, the Utah Republican said during a floor speech Wednesday. He is the first and likely only Republican who will do so.
Romney said it was the "hardest decision I've ever made" and he understood that "the consequence will be enormous" for him politically.
"The consequence of violating my conscience and my oath of office to God would be even greater," he said. "Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded of me?"
"I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential," he said, appearing to choke up.
"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. Yes, he did," Romney said. Also, "what he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault of our electoral rights, our national scrutiny and our national values."
"The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust," said Romney. "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."