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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mitt Romney’s status as one of few Republicans willing to publicly criticize President Donald Trump is well known is his adopted home of Utah, but many were still surprised by his impeachment vote against him and unequivocal speech Wednesday. Reactions were at odds in a state where Republicans are unusually divided on the president. There was plenty of frustration and anger from Trump supporters, but others were heartened to see what Romney described as an agonizing vote dictated by his conscience. Still, Romney has a deep well of goodwill in Utah and four years to explain his stance to voters before an re-election campaign.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah polygamist who pleaded guilty to money fraud in a nearly $500 million biodiesel fraud scheme is testifying against a California businessman who prosecutors allege helped him expand the operation. Jacob Kingston began testifying Wednesday for the U.S. government in its case against gas station owner Lev Dermen, who has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts including money laundering and mail fraud. Kingston didn't delve into Dermen's role in the scheme, but is scheduled to continue testifying Thursday in the trial. Kingston told jurors he has 20 children with three different women and 14 total grandchildren.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney has voted to remove President Donald Trump from office. That made him the only Republican who broke ranks in the Senate's impeachment trial over whether to convict Trump. Romney was his party's 2012 presidential nominee, and he's clashed with Trump before. Romney said he believes Trump was guilty of “an appalling abuse of public trust" when he pressured Ukraine's leaders to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden. Trump was acquitted on both counts by the GOP-run Senate. Romney voted to convict Trump on only the abuse of power charge. That made him the only senator from either party to cross party lines in the trial's climactic votes.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Senate has acquitted President Donald Trump of impeachment, ending only the third presidential trial in American history with votes that split the country and tested civic norms. The proceedings also are feeding the tumultuous 2020 run for the White House. A majority of senators expressed unease with Trump's pressure campaign on Ukraine that resulted in the two articles of impeachment. But there was nowhere near the two-thirds vote necessary in the Republican-held Senate to remove the president from office. He was found not guilty of both articles of impeachment. Trump is eager to use the tally as vindication, a political anthem in his reelection bid.