SALT LAKE CITY — Before President Donald Trump was acquitted Wednesday by the Senate on two articles of impeachment, Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Chris Stewart weighed in on the state’s other senator, Mitt Romney, casting the lone GOP vote to convict the president of abuse of power during his impeachment trial in the Senate.
But Romney did fall in with all other Senate Republicans in voting to acquit President Trump on the second article of impeachment: obstruction of Congress.
Both Stewart and Lee joined host Lee Lonsberry on his show Live Mic to discuss their reactions to Romney’s vote.
Chris Stewart’s response
“Mitt is a friend, ” Stewart said. “But I’m telling you he’s just wrong on this. And I think I can say that with the voice of authority.”
Stewart laid out his work over the course of three years on the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election during the Mueller investigation.
After which, “We immediately went into seven months of impeachment and Ukrainian phone calls.
“And I think I know the evidence perhaps better than any member of the [Utah] delegation… .and I am telling you with a high degree of confidence I could never vote for a conviction on this. I don’t think the evidence supports it in any way,” Stewart said.
Mike Lee’s take
Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee voted to acquit the president on both articles of impeachment.
Host Lee asked Sen. Lee about his reaction to Romney’s guilty vote.
“I was surprised. I’m very disappointed. I strongly disagree with his decision on this,” the senator said.
“What the president did here involved encouraging the Ukrainian government to investigate the corrupt Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.
“This is something that the Obama administration had advocated for years before Trump took office.
“So making that request wasn’t criminal. It certainly wasn’t impeachable. It wasn’t even wrong. I am surprised as anyone about my colleague’s decision to reach a different conclusion. I did not expect this at all,” the senator said.
Lee said he suspected for a while that he and Romney would reach different conclusions on calling additional witnesses during the impeachment trial.
“I remain convinced that it would be not only unnecessary but very problematic and wrong for us to call additional witnesses.
“But I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t know until moments ago that he would be voting to remove the president,” Sen. Lee said.
Mitt Romney is a good friend and an excellent Senator. We have disagreed about a lot in this trial. But he has my respect for the thoughtfulness, integrity, and guts he has shown throughout this process. Utah and the Senate are lucky to have him.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) January 31, 2020
Concerning the tweet above, Lee asked the senator if Utah and the Senate are still “lucky to have him”?
“Look. I like him and consider him a friend. I strongly disagree with this decision. In the heat of this particular decision, it’s hard for me to see anything but that disagreement.
“But tomorrow’s a different day. I look forward to finding other issues where he and I can agree. But I couldn’t disagree more strongly with this vote than I do,” he said.
Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.
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