Utah Republicans, upset with a vote cast by Sen. Mitt Romney during the Senate impeachment trial to indict and remove President Donald Trump, are scrapping plans to punish him over his decision to do so.
State Republican lawmakers met on Tuesday to discuss what, if anything, should be done about Romney’s vote. After the meeting, party leaders announced that no action would be taken against the senator, The Washington Examiner reported.
“Many people disagree with the conclusion Sen. Romney came to, and I think what we can kind of conclude from this conversation is we’re going to agree to disagree. We understand the thoughtful process Sen. Romney went through,” Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson said. “Many people disagree with it, and we think it’s probably time to move on.”
Lawmakers in the Republican caucus had briefly flirted with the idea of censuring Romney. Some even wondered whether they could set up a recall election to allow voters to remove him from office prematurely. A state lawmaker had introduced a bill that would allow voters to recall federal officials, but that lawmaker said the measure was not meant to target Romney, and was introduced before his vote.
Republicans said, in lieu of not punishing the senator, they may pass a different type of resolution, one that voices support for Trump “for all the great things he’s done for the state of Utah.”
— G. Sierra-Zorita (@GSierraZorita) February 13, 2020
While GOP lawmakers appear to be lock-step in support of Trump, voters across the state have had mixed feelings about the president. According to poll tracking from Morning Consult, early on in his tenure Trump had the approval of 59 percent of Utah voters.
But those numbers nosedived, and by January 2019, only 45 percent approved of his job performance while 51 percent disapproved.
Recently, things have flipped again, in Trump’s favor. In January, the poll tracking found that Trump had 52 percent approval in the state, with 44 percent disapproving his record as president.
In 2016, Trump won Utah with 45 percent of the vote. Hillary Clinton received 27 percent, while Evan McMullin, a Republican who ran as an independent, took in 21 percent.