Utah Senator Mitt Romney says he will vote to convict US President Donald Trump, becoming the first and likely only Republican in the Senate’s impeachment trial to break ranks and favour removing him from office.
Mr Romney, the Republican 2012 presidential nominee, said he believed Mr Trump was guilty of “an appalling abuse of public trust” when he pressured Ukraine’s leaders to investigate political foe Joe Biden.
“It was a flagrant assault of our electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values,” Mr Romney said.
“Corrupting an election to keep one’s self in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine,” he added.
Mr Romney said as a “profoundly religious” person, he was bound by the oath senators took to administer impartial justice.
“My faith is at the heart of who I am,” he said.
Watch Mitt Romney’s speech on the Senate floor
Mr Trump is virtually certain to be acquitted by the Republican-run Senate, where a two-thirds majority – 67 votes – would be required to remove him.
The final votes on the two articles of impeachment were scheduled for later on Wednesday afternoon local time.
The vote will determine whether he can complete his term as president or must immediately turn over his office to Vice President Mike Pence.