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A petition is circulating among Utah Republicans to censure senator Mitt Romney for his vote to convict former President Donald Trump in last week’s impeachment trial, The Hill newspaper says.
Utah’s top GOP leaders are not behind the effort. Instead, the party issued a statement on Monday noting that both Romney and Mike Lee, who voted to acquit Trump, have faced criticism for their impeachment votes.
“The differences among our own Utah Republicans show a diversity of thought, in contrast to the danger of a party obsessed with ‘unanimity of thought.’ There is power in our differences as a political party, and we expect each senator to explain his or her votes to the people of Utah,” he says.
First reported by The Salt Lake Tribune, the petition is circulating on social media and accuses the senator of not “representing the average conservative Republican Utah voter” and of having “misrepresented himself as a Republican.”
“Senator Willard Mitt Romney has prioritized his personal and political vendetta against President Donald J. Trump ahead of the U.S. Constitution, the interest of we the people, and the advancement of the Republican Platform,” the petition alleges.
It also charges Romney with having “embarrassed the state of Utah” with his vote to convict Trump and argues that Romney’s willingness to move forward with this year’s trial and his subsequent vote to convict “intentionally violate the 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendment rights” of Trump.
Although the document is on Google form, the Republican Party has not made it official. Party chairman Derek Brown told the Tribune that he knew about the petition but had not seen it.
Seven Republican senators joined all 50 Democrats on Saturday in voting to condemn Trump for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Two of those Republicans have been formally rebuked. The Louisiana Republican Party censured Sen. Bill Cassidy on Saturday, and several county GOPs in Pennsylvania have rebuked Sen. Patrick Toomey. Richard Burr of North Carolina faces a vote of no confidence on Monday.