A resolution to censure Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) over his votes to convict then-President Donald Trump during his two impeachment trials narrowly failed during a vote among Utah Republicans on Saturday.
The measure failed 711-798 in a vote of delegates to the Utah Republican Party organizing convention that’s being held this weekend near Salt Lake City.
Davis County delegate Don Guymon, who authored the resolution, told The Salt Lake Tribune that Romney’s vote to remove Trump from office “hurt the Constitution and hurt the party.”
“This was a process driven by Democrats who hated Trump,” Guymon said, adding that Romney’s vote during the first impeachment trial “emboldened Democrats who continued to harass Trump.”
The proposal also sought to thank Utah’s other senator, Republican Mike Lee, as well as other members of Congress who voted against Trump’s impeachment.
Earlier Saturday, Romney drew boos as he took the stage at the convention.
“I don’t hide the fact that I wasn’t a fan of our last president’s character issues,” Romney said from the podium, prompting more boos. Some members of the audience stood and clapped in a show of support for the senator.
After waiting a few moments for the audience to quiet down, Romney asked: “Aren’t you embarrassed?”
Later during his speech, amid continued jeers from the crowd, Romney described being “a Republican all my life.”
“I understand I have a few folks who don’t like me terribly much and I ― I’m sorry about that,” he said. “But I express my mind as I believe is right and I follow my conscience as I believe is right.”
Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to remove Trump from office during his first impeachment trial in 2020. Trump had been charged with abuse of power and obstruction of justice related to a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He was ultimately acquitted by the Senate.
Romney was one of seven Republicans in February to vote to convict Trump of inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. But Trump was once again acquitted after Democrats failed to secure the two-thirds of votes that were needed to remove him from office.
Three of the GOP senators who voted to convict Trump during the second impeachment trial ― Richard Burr of North Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana ― have been censured by their state Republican parties. The others ― Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Susan Collins of Maine ― were spared by their respective state parties.
Collins on Sunday said she was “appalled” that Romney was booed and nearly censured a day earlier at the Utah GOP convention.
“We are not a party that is led by just one person,” Collins told CNN.