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Petition seeking Romney censure circulating among Utah Republicans

A petition is being circulated among Utah Republicans on social media to censure Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (R-Utah) for his vote to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE in last week's Senate impeachment trial. 

The petition, first reported by The Salt Lake Tribune, accuses the first-term senator of failing to "represent the average conservative Utah Republican voter” and of having “misrepresented himself as a Republican.”

“Senator Willard Mitt Romney has prioritized his personal and political vendetta against President Donald J. Trump ahead of the Constitution of the United States, the interest of We, the People, and the advancement of the Republican Platform,” the petition alleges.

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The petition, made with Google Forms, does not say who is promoting the censure or how many people have signed the document. 

Signatories of the document accuse Romney of having “embarrassed the State of Utah” with his vote to convict Trump on one article of impeachment during his first Senate trial last year. 

They argue that Romney’s willingness to move forward with this year’s trial and his subsequent conviction vote “intentionally violate the 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendment Rights” of Trump.

“Whereas; Senator Willard Mitt Romney has condoned false and misleading statements that have led the 117th Congress of the United States to further conduct an illegal and unconstitutional 2nd Impeachment proceeding against President Donald J.Trump,” it continued.

The document also notes that the Utah Republican Party “leadership has failed to issue a censure” against Romney. It is not clear whether the party will consider censuring the Utah senator.

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Utah GOP Chairman Derek Brown told the Tribune that he knew about the petition but had not seen it, noting “I’ve been saying the best censure occurs at the ballot box.” 

The Utah Republican Party Central Committee had previously considered proposals against Romney after his first impeachment conviction vote but went forward with a resolution supporting Trump instead. The committee is not expected to meet until June, and Brown told the newspaper that the party has more critical issues to prioritize. 

The Utah Republican Party in a statement obtained by The Hill acknowledged that Romney and Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot MORE (R-Utah) voted differently in the impeachment trial, which it said showed "diversity of thought, in contrast to the danger of a party fixated on 'unanimity of thought.' "

"There is power in our differences as a political party, and we look forward to each senator explaining their votes to the people of Utah," the statement reads. "Disagreement is natural and healthy in a party that is based on principles—not on persona."

"As 2021 begins, we look neither to the past, nor to be punitive," the party added. "We look to the future with optimism and a commitment to those principles that inspired our Founders over two centuries ago. We will continue to be unified behind those principles, and are confident that as we do so, those who have joined our party will stay, while those who have left will soon return."

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Romney was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict the former president on a charge of inciting an insurrection, but the Senate did not reach the two-thirds majority required to find Trump guilty. 

The former 2012 Republican presidential nominee is not the only senator facing possible censures, as the Louisiana Republican Party censured Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (R-La.) over the weekend and several county-level GOP parties have censured Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.). 

The North Carolina GOP planned to vote on a censure against Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? MORE (R-N.C.) on Monday for his vote to convict Trump.

Updated at 4:40 p.m.