Since his ascent to the White House, Republican lawmakers largely embraced the doctrine of former President Donald Trump and the thousands of lies he amplified over the four years of his term.
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) is one of the few Republicans in the Senate who has occasionally held Trump to account. He faced widespread backlash from within his party for being the sole Republican Senator to vote in favor of convicting Trump on one of the articles of his first impeachment.
After Trump's lies about the 2020 election motivated a mob of pro-Trump extremists to storm the Capitol—a failed insurrection that resulted in the deaths of at least five people—the Democratic-led House of Representatives impeached Trump for a historic second time, with 10 House Republicans voting in favor.
As Trump's second impeachment heads to the Senate for a trial, an overwhelming number of Republican Senators are urging Americans to simply "move on" without holding Trump accountable, citing the calls for "unity" from President Joe Biden and claiming that an impeachment trial would be too divisive for the country.
Many of these same Republicans—including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas—eagerly amplified Trump's lies that Democrats "stole" the presidency from him by somehow orchestrating widespread election fraud.
Romney noted this in a rebuke of claims that moving forward with an impeachment trial is too divisive:
"I say, first of all, have you gone out publicly and said that there was not widespread voter fraud and that Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States? If you said that, then I'm happy to listen to you talk about other things that might inflame anger and divisiveness."
Many Republican lawmakers still won't admit that Biden won the presidency in a free and fair election, even though an unequivocal statement of this fact could help sway their Trump-supporting constituents back to reality.
People praised Romney for calling out this hypocrisy.
Romney showing, once again, that he is apparently the only remaining GOP politician with principles and patriotism. https://t.co/sTFhnHnRzR— Martin Smith (@Martin Smith)1611777493.0
A Republican needed to say this. And, I thank @MittRomney for being the one to do so. https://t.co/AW8fD6uwUq— Nathan Burt (@Nathan Burt)1611774208.0
When he's right, he's right. https://t.co/isbPHhiNIv— Joshua Holland 🔥 (@Joshua Holland 🔥)1611776522.0
I have much respect for Mitt Romney.. integrity in leadership matters https://t.co/VoHRSwCUZC— Queen B 🇨🇦 (@Queen B 🇨🇦)1611775693.0
@MittRomney is just about the only Republican I like. https://t.co/Lgm9FmQ6mJ— A Resister 🌊🌊🌊 (@A Resister 🌊🌊🌊)1611775891.0
He wasn't the only one to dismiss claims of divisiveness.
Impeachment is only a divisive issue to Republicans who are scared of losing their reelection bids. What’s divisive… https://t.co/ObZPU0jtnj— Aaron Parnas (@Aaron Parnas)1611618655.0
@atrupar I don’t understand why people keep talking about the impeachment being “divisive“ and what “stir up“ the c… https://t.co/zj3oHTuX20— Stefan Resists Coup (@Stefan Resists Coup)1611525845.0
I worked my butt off to boot Trump and GOP’s to undo the terrible damage they did to my country. I will NOT sit bac… https://t.co/rxX0ko3qDa— Joe Shucofsky (@Joe Shucofsky)1611506355.0
If the GOP would stand up and tell the truth that the election wasn't stolen I'd be all for not going through with… https://t.co/Za2QBrrEK7— MARCUS (@MARCUS)1611521720.0
Senators have already been sworn in as jurors of Trump's impeachment trial.