Lee says Romney shouldn’t be punished for impeachment vote

He says ‘there is enough room in the Republican Party for both of us.’

(Susan Walsh | AP file photo, group) Utah Sen. Mike Lee is shown here in a file photo from Dec. 11, 2020. Lee is defending Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment. Lee says Romney shouldn’t be punished for that vote because there is room for different opinions in the Republican Party.

Senator Mike Lee defends Senator Mitt Romney’s vote to convict former President Donald Trump at his second impeachment trial. Although Lee disagrees with Romney’s conclusion, he does not see it as a “cause for alarm.”

“Although Senator Romney and I tend to vote together, and with the majority of Senate Republicans, we vote differently,” said Lee’s statement issued during his 2022 reelection campaign. “It shows that none of us blindly give in to no one”.

Romney was the first US senator in history to vote to convict a president of his own political party when he was the only Republican to vote for the conviction during Trump’s first impeachment trial in February 2020. At the second trial, Romney was joined by six other Republicans. who concluded that Trump was guilty of inciting the crowd that attacked the United States Capitol on January 6. That riot left five dead, including a Capitol police officer.

Romney has been the target of much contempt by Republicans for voting against the majority of his party at the end of the trial. There has been a push on social media to censor him, with an effort saying he “misrepresented himself as a Republican” and accused him of being a “deep state” agent who opposed Trump. Other Utah Republicans have called for his resignation because of his vote.
When rioters stormed the Capitol building on January 6, Lee told The Salt Lake Tribune that Trump accidentally called his cell phone, thinking he was trying to reach newly elected Alabama senator Tommy Tuberville. During the impeachment, Lee, along with other Republican senators, consulted with Trump’s legal team to discuss his legal strategy before beginning his defense of the former president.

Lee strongly disagreed with calls to punish Romney for his vote.

“While Senator Romney and I sometimes come to different conclusions, there is enough room in the Republican tent for both of us, just as there is enough room for all Republicans in a general election, regardless of how they voted in the primaries.” Read Lee’s statement.

Lee’s words echo those of the Utah Republican Party. The state Republican Party issued a statement following the diverging impeachment votes of Lee and Romney, saying that “diversity of thought” is a benefit to political parties and warning against “unanimity of thought.”

Lee’s public statement of support for Romney comes as he prepares to run for a third term in the United States Senate next year. He is already facing opposition, as the Left Alliance for a Better Utah launched the “Humans Against Mike Lee” campaign this week, with the goal of overthrowing him. He’s also fundraising extensively ahead of next year’s race, with an email claiming he’s the main target of the anti-Trump group “Project Lincoln.”

As Lee sees it, differences in political thinking will strengthen the Republican Party as they head into the 2022 midterm elections.

“The Republican Party should work tirelessly to win back the House and Senate in 2022. Having different perspectives within our party leads to a more robust debate, which in turn produces more thoughtful political results, all of which will be a benefit to Republicans. in future elections. … The Republican Party tent is open to anyone and everyone who is willing to support our shared liberal goals, ”Lee wrote.


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