WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04:
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  • President Donald Trump posted a video attacking Sen. Mitt Romney after his decision to vote in favour of convicting Trump for abuse of power on Wednesday.
  • Romney was the only GOP senator to go against Trump. He was the 2012 Republican nominee for president who has been critical of Trump on some occasions.
  • A video posted by Trump included footage of Romney praising Trump, and failing to win the 2012 election himself.
  • "Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine," Romney said.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

President Donald Trump posted a video attacking Republican Sen. Mitt Romney after his stunning vote to convict the president for abuse of power in his Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday.

Romney was the only Republican to vote in favour of convicting Trump for abuse of power, though he joined the rest of the GOP in voting to acquit Trump for obstruction of Congress.

The Utah Republican was the first senator in US history to support convicting a president from his own party.

Here is the video:

It is a spliced-together collection of news clips, which at one point described Romney as "a Democrat secret asset."

It juxtaposes footage of Romney publicly praising Trump shortly after the 2016 election with narration describing how Romney later turned on the president.

It also includes news footage of Romney failing to beat Barack Obama to the presidency in 2012, followed by footage of Trump beating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, a moment Trump has returned to often in his social media output.

Romney in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor before the vote said that he was compelled to vote for his conviction despite agreeing with many of his actions as president.

Romney said he could not ignore the oath of impartiality he took at the start of the trial. He said his faith compelled him to make an extraordinary break with his own party.

Romney condemned Trump for his effort to urge Ukraine into launching investigations into political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

"Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine," Romney said.

Romney was promptly praised by Democrats while facing swift criticism from fellow Republicans after announcing his decision.

"I sat silently across the chamber, listening to my friend give one of the most important speeches I have ever had the good fortune to hear in person," Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut tweeted. "At a time when many wonder what honour is left in public life, there stands Mitt Romney."

Comparatively, Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee and Romney's niece, in a statement said: "This is not the first time I've disagreed with Mitt, and I imagine it will not be the last. The bottom line is President Trump did nothing wrong, and the Republican Party is more united than ever behind him."

Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, called for Romney to be "expelled" from the Republican party.

The House passed two articles of impeachment against Trump on December 18, 2019, one for abuse of power over his dealings of Ukraine, and a second for obstruction of Congress over the president's efforts to stonewall the impeachment inquiry. Trump froze almost $400 million (R5.8 billion) in crucial military aid to Ukraine, which is at war with pro-Russian separatists, as he sought to pressure Kiev into helping him dig up dirt on his political opponents.

Democrats essentially accused Trump of blackmailing Ukraine with congressionally-approved security assistance, and using it to solicit foreign election interference.

The impeachment proceedings spiraled out of a whistleblower complaint centered around a July 25 phone call in which Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as a debunked conspiracy theory linked to the 2016 election. The president wanted Zelensky to announce investigations into the Bidens in relation to Hunter's work for Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, despite no evidence of wrongdoing or illegal activity on the part of the former vice president or his son with regard to Ukraine.

Documents and witness testimony gathered in the impeachment inquiry revealed a broad effort to pressure Ukraine that was engineered by Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and went well beyond the July 25 phone call.

Meanwhile, Trump has maintained he did nothing wrong and has continued to call his July 25 conversation with Zelensky a "perfect" call.

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