Utah senator and Republican Mitt Romney has declared his intention to vote to convict President Donald Trump of abuse of power, explaining he is compelled to do so in part by his faith as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Romney grew visibly emotional on the Senate floor Wednesday (Feb. 5), while discussing the role of his faith in the decision.
“I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am,” he said, taking a long pause to collect himself. “I take an oath before God as enormously consequential.”
Throughout his speech, Romney pointed to the “oath before God” he had made to exercise impartial judgment as a senator-juror in the impeachment trial.
That oath, he said, “demanded” he vote to convict the president on the first of two articles of impeachment: abuse of power.
The senator said it was clear from the evidence presented that Trump had asked Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and had withheld military funds from the country to pressure it to do so.
Romney said he supports much of what Trump has done as president and has received many calls encouraging him to side with other Republicans on the impeachment vote.
“But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and biases aside,” he said. “Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented, and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.”
He also said he knows he will be denounced for his vote by his fellow Utahns and Republicans, as well as 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?” he said.
In a separate interview with The Atlantic conducted before his speech and published after, Romney said he was guided throughout Trump’s impeachment trial by his father’s favorite verse of the church’s scriptures: “Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.”
Click here to read more.
Source: Religion News Service