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Mike Lee defends Romney after vote on witnesses in Trump trial

Mike Lee defends Romney after vote on witnesses in Trump trial
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeTed Cruz won't wear mask to speak to reporters at Capitol Michigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test Barrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election MORE (R-Utah) came to the defense his fellow Utah senator Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal 10 bellwether counties that could signal where the election is headed The Memo: Trump's second-term chances fade MORE (R) after Romney bucked the party and voted to approve more witness testimony in the Senate’s impeachment trial against President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE.

“Mitt Romney is a good friend and an excellent Senator. We have disagreed about a lot in this trial. But he has my respect for the thoughtfulness, integrity, and guts he has shown throughout this process. Utah and the Senate are lucky to have him,” Lee tweeted.

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Romney earned rebukes from Republicans over his vote to allow more witnesses in the Senate’s impeachment trial. The measure still failed by a 49-51 margin, setting up a vote next week that is virtually guaranteed to acquit Trump.

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) “formally” disinvited Romney from its event next month over the vote.

Romney and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court GOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election This week: Clock ticks on chance for coronavirus deal MORE (R-Maine) were the only two Republicans to vote for the measure to allow more witnesses Friday night. Romney won his seat in 2018 and will not be up for a vote until 2024, but Collins is facing a tight reelection race in November.

While Romney has mostly been a loyal foot soldier in the Senate, largely voting along party lines, the GOP senator has voiced concern over Trump’s rhetoric and his dealings with Ukraine, which are at the center of the impeachment trial.