Governor says Romney shouldn’t be censured

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney speaks in Southern Utah, Feb. 22, 2018 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News/Cedar City News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday he does not support a state lawmaker’s push to censure U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney over his vote to convict in the president’s impeachment trial.

Gov. Gary Herbert speaks at the “2018 Business Summit” hosted by the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce at the Dixie Center, St. George, Utah, June 13, 2018 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Herbert, a Republican, said in a statement Romney voted in accordance with his conscience after hearing all the evidence in the trial, and his decision does not warrant censure.

The position signals a roadblock for the effort to rebuke Romney amid a wave of Republican anger directed at the party’s former presidential nominee. The resolution would show the senator that other members of his party were unhappy with his vote and wanted to show their respect for the president, its sponsor has said.

A separate effort to create a way to recall a U.S. Senator would likely be unconstitutional, Utah Senate leaders have said.

Leaders in the GOP-dominated Legislature have expressed more support for another plan to formally recognize the work done by President Donald Trump and his administration without taking aim at Romney.

The governor’s statement comes after Romney flew back to Utah to explain his decision in person to GOP state legislative leaders.

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