Representative Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) on Thursday called for Senator Mitt Romney (R., Utah) to be expelled from Republican ranks in the Senate.
“If I were [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell I would expel Mitt Romney from the Republican caucus,” Gaetz said in an interview on Fox News’ Lou Dobbs Tonight. “He is not acting like a Republican. He has shown no interest in working with this administration, or with Republicans who are eager to seize the opportunity of the Trump presidency.”
“Frankly, I don’t know what the difference is between Mitt Romney and a Democrat at this point,” Gaetz continued.
Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to convict President Trump on one article of impeachment. The Utah congressman is the first senator in American history to vote to impeach a president in his own party.
“The president did in fact pressure a foreign government to corrupt our election process,” Romney told the Atlantic in an interview released Wednesday. “And really, corrupting an election process in a democratic republic is about as abusive and egregious an act against the Constitution—and one’s oath—that I can imagine. It’s what autocrats do.”
While Trump allies including Gaetz have vilified Romney for his decision, other Republicans were less certain Romney would be formally punished for his vote.
“There is always another day and another vote and you may not have everybody on every vote, sometimes you just have to play the next game when it comes along,” said Senator John Thune (R., S.D.). “I’m sure that members of our conference will continue to work with him and accept his point of view.”