‘Blame you’: Johnson and Romney get heated after vote for impeachment witnesses
Republican Sens. Ron Johnson and Mitt Romney had a heated exchange on the Senate floor Saturday after Romney voted to allow witnesses in former president Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
A “visibly upset” Johnson (R-Wis.) turned to Romney (R-Utah) and the two went “back and forth” with Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) between them, according to pool reports.
“Blame you,” Johnson told Romney. Voices were “definitely raised,” according to the report, with Johnson pointing at Romney at one stage.
Asked about the confrontation by reporters, Johnson declined to get into it, saying “those are private conversations.” A reporter then noted that reporters heard it.
“That’s grotesque you guys are recording,” Johnson said, to which a reporter noted they were allowed to witness the proceedings.
Johnson, a Trump ally, told reporters that the vote will merely “inflame the situation.”
“We never should have this impeachment trial. It’s not healing, it’s not unifying, it’s like opening up a wound and just rubbing salt in it,” Johnson said. “I thought we were going come to a conclusion here today and [then] let’s rip the wound back open, let’s rub more salt in it.”
Spokespeople for Romney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Romney was the only Republican to vote to convict former Trump in his first impeachment trial, and has voted that Trump’s second Senate trial is constitutional.
Johnson and Romney weren’t alone in clashing as tensions escalated among congressional Republicans.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), who recently issued a statement detailing a call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy during the Jan. 6 insurrection, drew the ire of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
“The gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats,” Greene wrote. “First voting to impeach innocent President Trump, then yapping to the press and throwing [McCarthy] under the bus, and now a tool as a witness for the Democrats running the circus trial.”
“The Trump loyal 75 million are watching,” she added.
On Saturday, House impeachment manager and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) called to subpoena Herrera Beutler.