(ABC4) – A Republican PAC has issued a resolution to censure Utah Senator Mitt Romney.
In mid-February, after Sen. Romney voted, for a second time, alongside Democrats in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, a petition began circulating online to censure the senator. It quickly garnered over 2,500 signatures.
The Utah Republican Party released a statement to ABC4 after the petition began drawing attention, saying, “Any national petitions making the rounds online have nothing to do with the Utah Republican Party. As a party, we are focused entirely on unifying around Republican Party principles, as discussed in our official statement.”
That official statement, which you can read here, came after Sen. Romney and Senator Mike Lee cast opposite votes in Trump’s impeachment trial. It reads, in part:
Our senators have both been criticized for their vote. The differences between our own Utah Republicans showcase a diversity of thought, in contrast to the danger of a party fixated on “unanimity of thought.” There is power in our differences as a political party, and we look forward to each senator explaining their votes to the people of Utah.
On Monday, the Utah Platform Republicans PAC issued a resolution to censure Sen. Romney for his impeachment vote. A release says the PAC “requires that public officials be held accountable and asserts Sen. Romney’s votes were ‘unjust and unethical.'”
According to its website, the Utah Platform Republicans PAC “is a Utah political action committee with a mission to recruit, vet, and support candidates who will faithfully uphold the Utah Republican Party Platform, and the Utah and U.S. Constitutions.”
The PAC’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to censure Sen. Romney “because the Utah Republican Party has not issued a censure and because hundreds of thousands of Utah Trump voters need to know that some Republican leaders support censuring Romney.”
The resolution, which you can read below, says that because Sen. Romney voted to impeach Trump twice and “Republicans in the other six states from which Republican Senators voted to convict President Trump have held their Senators accountable for their wrongful votes.” The Board of Directors says they “hereby declare [their] united censure of Sen. Mitt Romney.”
When asked if they had a response to this resolution, the Utah Republican Party told ABC4, “We don’t have a comment beyond our previous statements on the matter.”
The resolution, posted to the PAC’s website under its ‘Romney Censure’ tab, is signed by 14 of its members. Read the full text here:
Click the square in the bottom right corner for full screen.
According to the U.S. Senate, a censure is less severe than an expulsion, sometimes being referred to as a condemnation or denouncement, and does not remove the senator from office.
“It is a formal statement of disapproval, however, that can have a powerful psychologial effect on a member and his/her relationship in the Senate. In 1834, the Senate censured President Andrew Jackson — the first and only time the Senate censured a president. Since 1789 the Senate has censured nine of its members.”
As the Senate explains, the power to censure is not a power provided by the Constitution. Instead, the House and Senate have adopted internal rules allowing them to draft and approve censure resolutions that can be adopted by either chamber of Congress.
For more on censuring, and who has been censured in the past, click here.
ABC4 has reached out to Sen. Romney’s office and the Platform Republicans PAC for comment.