On Wednesday afternoon, Senator Mitt Romney (R UT) rose from his desk in the Senate chamber and approached the microphone to speak about his vote in the Impeachment of President Donald Trump. Romney had announced he was going to vote to convict the President on Article 1 of the impeachment so that would come as no surprise to anyone. What came as a surprise, at least to me, was that he spoke openly about his faith.
The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a Senator-juror, I swore an oath, before God, to exercise “impartial justice.” I am a profoundly religious person. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the President, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.
Romney, who is a Bishop in the Mormon Church never, really speaks about his faith. As Governor of Massachusetts and as a Presidential candidate, he never invoked his faith in the way he did on Wednesday. I am not if it is because for Romney, like most Americans, faith is a private or was it the more significant issue of the Mormon faith not being understood. Either way, it was refreshing to hear a non-evangelical invoke his faith on a political matter.
In the video of the speech on the Senate floor, Romney shows emotion when he speaks of his faith. This was not an easy decision for the Utah Senator and one that, admittedly, will bring some backlash from the party faithful and others. Romney voted his conscious at a time when that does not seem the fashionable thing to do.
The decision to convict or not convict the President of the United was, in my opinion anyway, a foregone conclusion. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, had announced that he was going to vote to acquit the President before the Articles of Impeachment had even reached the desk of the Clerk of the Senate. At least Romney took his oath, “before God” to be an impartial juror serious!
Senator Romney appealed to a higher purpose his faith and his God. He has shown that faith needs to influence our decision and that sometimes we need to stand up when everyone else is sitting down. The Senator admitted that “my verdict will not remove the President from office.” But he held true to his oath and did what he felt was right.
My vote will likely be in the minority in the Senate. But irrespective of these things, with my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability, believing that my country expected it of me.
“Well done good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:23
Read the full text of Senator Romney’s floor speech here