U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) joined with 42 other Republicans on Saturday to prevent a conviction in the Senate trial of former President Donald Trump.
“The Democrats’ vindictive and divisive political impeachment is over,” Johnson said in a statement after the vote. “While there are still many questions that remain unanswered, I do know neither the Capitol breach nor this trial should have ever occurred. Hopefully, true healing can now begin.”
Democrats needed 17 Republicans to join them to give the two-thirds vote needed to convict but only received seven.
Johnson’s day, however, did not go smoothly. When a number of Republicans voted alongside the Democrats to allow witnesses at the trial, Johnson began yelling at Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) on the Senate floor during a temporary break in the debate. Romney, who would eventually vote in favor of convicting the former president, had sided with Democrats on calling witnesses.
Fox News and other media outlets heard Johnson saying “blame you” to Romney. Afterwards, Johnson criticized the media for even asking about it.
“Those are private. Those are private conversations,” Johnson said, according to The Hill. When told he could be heard up in the gallery, Johnson was still upset.
“That’s grotesque you guys are recording us,” Johnson told the media.
Romney responded with humor when asked about the incident. “We were arguing about boxers versus briefs,” he said.
Johnson’s vote was not a surprise. He has refused to blame Trump for any of the January 6 violence and even suggested Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) bore responsibility for the attack.
Johnson was missing for parts of the presentation by the House of Representatives impeachment managers, but he had nothing but praise for Trump’s defense team on Friday.
“They just legally eviscerated what the House managers put in front. I mean, the fact of the doctored and falsified facts, starting out with that. But again the video is just powerful I mean we all know that,” he said, according to CNN.
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) voted with her Democratic colleagues as expected. After the vote, Baldwin made a statement in a pair of posts on Twitter: