Politics & Policy

Romney Dismisses Republican Claim that Impeachment Would Be ‘Divisive’

Senator Mitt Romney in Washington, D.C., January 31, 2020 (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Senator Mitt Romney (R., Utah) criticized Republicans who argue that impeaching former President Trump would be divisive, in comments during an online event on Tuesday.

“Five people died with the attack on the Capitol. Five human beings died. There’s no question but that the president incited the insurrection that occurred,” Romney said at an online forum with the Economic Club of Chicago on Tuesday. The forum, titled “Governing from the Middle,” was moderated by former Obama strategist David Axelrod and featured Senators Romney and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.).

Romney was the only GOP senator to vote in favor of conviction during Trump’s previous impeachment trial, during which the former president was ultimately acquitted. House Democrats and a small set of Republicans voted to impeach Trump again for “incitement of insurrection” earlier this month, after Trump incited a mob of his supporters to amass at the Capitol on January 6. The mob breached the building and forced lawmakers to evacuate, and the riots resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol police officer.

Romney dismissed arguments by some GOP congressmen that an impeachment at this stage would cause more “divisiveness” throughout the country.

“I say, first of all, have you gone out publicly and said that there was not widespread voter fraud and that Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States? If you said that, then I’m happy to listen to you talk about other things that might inflame anger and divisiveness,” Romney said. “But if you haven’t said that, that’s really what’s at the source of the anger right now.”

Romney was among just five GOP senators who declined to support a resolution by Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) that would declare Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial unconstitutional.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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