Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, received the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation’s 2021 “Profile in Courage” award on Thursday for what the organization described as his “historic” vote to convict former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial last year.
The foundation praised Romney for his “consistent and courageous defense of democracy” and noted that he was the first senator ever to vote to convict a president from his own political party.
“Senator Romney’s commitment to our Constitution makes him a worthy successor to the Senators who inspired my father to write Profiles in Courage,” said Caroline Kennedy, who served as US ambassador to Japan in former President Barack Obama’s second term in office. “He reminds us that our Democracy depends on the courage, conscience and character of our elected officials.”
In Feb. 2020, Romney was the only Republican senator who voted to convict Trump on an impeachment charge of “abuse of power.” Trump was accused of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, ahead of the 2020 presidential election. He was later acquitted.
Earlier this year, Romney joined with a handful of Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump on a single charge of incitement of insurrection over his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Trump was again acquitted at trial.
Romney said he was “humbled” to receive the award. Kennedy will present the honor at a virtual ceremony in May.
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“I’m humbled by the Kennedy family’s recognition today,” Romney said in a statement. “But I see courage every week from my colleagues in the Senate, many of whom make tough decisions to do what they believe is right even though it may be politically unpopular.”
Created in 1989, the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award is awarded to “recognize and celebrate the quality of political courage that he admired most,” according to the foundation’s website. Past recipients include Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the late GOP Arizona Sen. John McCain.