The White House announced a scheduled “pool spray” was cancelled after Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced a vote to convict President Donald Trump on the abuse of power article of impeachment.
The brief event was reportedly scheduled for 2:15 p.m., but did not occur. Reporters were on the South Lawn “ready to go.”
Meanwhile, at the White House, President Trump no longer wants to interact with reporters this hour. The WH abruptly cancelled a planned pool spray between Trump and Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido moments after Romney began announcing his intent to vote to remove Trump.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 5, 2020
The White House claims Romney’s speech had nothing to do with the decision.
A WH official tells pool reporters Romney's announcement "did not impact the decision to scrap the photo opportunity in the Oval Office. The official said the decision to cancel the spray came before Romney began to speak," per pool.
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) February 5, 2020
Romney, citing his “profoundly religious” beliefs and the oath he swore to do “impartial justice,” announced on Wednesday that he believed President Trump was guilty of an appalling abuse of power.
FULL REMARKS — @SenatorRomney: "The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did." pic.twitter.com/fbIhPG12IO
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 5, 2020
“The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the President committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did,” Romney said on the Senate floor. “There’s no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did.’
“I believe that attempting to corrupt an election to maintain power is about as egregious an assault on the Constitution as can be made,” he continued. “And for that reason, it is a high crime and misdemeanor, and I have no choice under the oath that I took but to express that conclusion.”
Romney is expected to be the only Senate Republican to convict the president, though he will vote to acquit Trump on the obstruction of Congress charge. Romney said he was pressured to “stand with the team,” but also said his conscience told him to do the opposite.
“As a senator juror, I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am,” he said.
Romney will become the first US Senator in American history to vote to remove a president of his own party.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 5, 2020
[Image via Mark Wilson Getty Images]