There are rumblings among Utah Republicans to sanction Sen. Mitt Romney over his vote to convict former President Donald Trump.
“I’ve gotten phone calls and emails, and I’m seeing a lot of chat on Facebook that people want to do a measure of censure against Sen. Romney, like we’ve seen against Liz Cheney in Wyoming, and the senator down in Louisiana,“ Bob McEntee, a member of the Utah GOP governing body, known as the State Central Committee, said.
Romney said Trump “invited insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office” summoning supporters and urging them to march to the Capitol “despite the well known threats of violence that day.” Further, Romney said Trump broke his oath by “failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President and others.“
His explanation came after the senator's second vote—in roughly a year—to convict Trump in separate impeachment trials. In February 2020, Romney was the only Republican senator to cast a guilty vote. This time, he was one of seven GOP senators voting to convict.
“If the Republican Party puts up a vote to censure Mitt Romney, will you vote to censure him?“ 2News asked Brandon Beckham, another GOP State Central Committee member.
“I absolutely will,“ he replied.
If the Republican Party doesn’t respond here in Utah, then we look weak, we look complicit. We aren’t doing our job.
Beckham, who orchestrated a resolution against Romney after the first impeachment trial, echoed sentiments in some circles the latest trial was unconstitutional since Trump had already left office.
The chair of the Utah GOP, Derek Brown, said the party does not have a statement about Romney’s vote.
“I don’t anticipate that the party will be doing anything now other than focusing on Republican principles,” Brown said, “retaining those voters who joined the party during the last few years, and encouraging those who have left the party to come back.”