Just a few days after voting to convict former President Donald Trump for allegedly inciting an insurrection, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney entered a statement into the Senate record saying that President Joe Biden “won the election through the legitimate vote of the American people,” calling any claims to the contrary a “lie” that “poisoned our politics and our public discourse” and “brought our nation to a dark and dangerous place.”
Romney reaffirmed his belief that Trump did in fact incite the violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, saying that “the president’s conduct represented an unprecedented violation of his oath of office and of the public trust.”
The Senate trial over whether to convict Trump, now a private citizen, ended in a 57-43 vote acquitting him of the charges and leaving him free to run for office in the future.
But while the trial may be over, the battle for America’s future isn’t – a conflict Romney acknowledged in a lengthy statement in which he admitted that America is “as divided as never before in modern history.” Bridging this divide, Romney suggests, will require “great leaders” to stand in the gap – though he never does quite mention what leader and from which side of the aisle could unite a nation divided on nearly every major issue from the sanctity of life to immigration enforcement to whether a man can literally change his biology.
He did, however, suggest that any path forward would require all members of the House and Senate – and, by extent, the millions of Americans they represent, and who believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen in favor of Biden – to now accept that the vote was entirely legitimate.
Now that the impeachment trial is behind us, it falls to each of us to affirm what we already know: President Biden won the election through the legitimate vote of the American people.”
“The division in America will only begin to heal in the light of this truth, a truth which must now be affirmed by each of us in this chamber," he wrote.
According to a recent Quinnipiac poll published on Feb. 4, a full three-quarters of self-identified Republicans say they believe widespread voter fraud influenced the election. Overall, one-third of Americans (36%) agreed.
Others say that while the election may not have been stolen through vote tampering or fraudulent ballots, the 11th-hour use of mail-in voting without proper verification systems in place contributed to questions over election integrity.
In addition to outright fraud and concerns over mail-in-voting, a post-election poll conducted by the Media Research Center found that misinformation and media manipulation played a large role in public perception of both Biden and Trump, with significant numbers self-identified Biden voters admitting to not knowing at least one major story they say would have influenced their vote. Of those polled, more than one-third said they were not aware of evidence linking Biden to corrupt dealing with Chinese businesses, with 13 percent of those saying they would have changed their vote had they been aware of the story.