A prominent Republican senator, Mitt Romney, broke off with his party on Wednesday and announced that he would vote against Donald Trump in his impeachment process just hours before the U.S. Senate was ready to acquit the Republican president.

The Republican-controlled Senate was scheduled to hold its historic vote at 4:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. Irish time) to convict Mr. Trump for abuse of power and Congress disability resulting from his negotiations with Ukraine in the context of the third impeachment process against the President Process in US history. The Democratic House of Representatives approved the indictment on December 18.

Mr Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate who previously criticized Mr Trump in other matters, described the President’s measures to pressurize Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden as “terribly wrong,” and said, Mr Trump was “guilty of horrific abuse of public trust”. ,

“What he did was not ‘perfect’,” said Romney in the Senate when Mr. Trump described his call to the Ukrainian president, who was at the center of the scandal. “No, it was an obvious attack on our voting rights, our national security and our core values. Corrupting an election to keep yourself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive breach of oath I can imagine. “

Mr. Romney, a moderate and older statesman in his party, is the only Republican senator to announce that he intends to remove Mr. Trump from office.

The impeachment drama that has plagued Washington since September will end with Wednesday’s vote and will allow Trump to win re-election in November.

While the vote is historical, the result of the acquittal seems certain. A two-thirds majority would be needed to remove it. Republicans hold 53 of the Senate’s 100 seats, and none of them have asked for a conviction. Mr. Trump, America’s 45th President, would have to hand over to Vice President Mike Pence if he were convicted of one of the two charges.

After facing the darkest chapter of his presidency, Trump (73) is aiming for a second term of four years in the November 3 election. – Reuters