Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he is open to running against Sen. Mitt Romney in Utah.
With a smile on his face, the retired politician told Fox News host Sean Hannity, “Yea, I would,” when asked Monday evening about a primary challenge against Romney just days after the GOP senator voted a second time to convict former President Donald Trump on an article of impeachment.
Chaffetz represented Utah’s 3rd Congressional District from 2009 to 2017 and served as chairman of the House Oversight Committee for the final couple of years. After retiring, Chaffetz joined Fox News as a contributor.
During the panel, in which he appeared with Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Chaffetz insisted he is “dedicated” to Fox News. But he also stressed that he’s “thought about” running for office.
The topic came up as the panel was discussing House Republican leaders sending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter demanding that she turn over the security decisions her office made leading up to and during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Pelosi, a California Democrat, renewed her push for a “9/11-type commission” to investigate the Capitol siege following Trump being acquitted on Saturday.
Romney, who is up for reelection in 2024, is facing backlash at home for joining six other Republicans to vote in favor of convicting Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection in connection to the U.S. Capitol siege. Some Republicans are even signing a petition to censure him.
“After careful consideration of the respective counsels’ arguments, I have concluded that President Trump is guilty of the charge made by the House of Representatives,” Romney said in a statement. “President Trump attempted to corrupt the election by pressuring the Secretary of State of Georgia to falsify the election results in his state. President Trump incited the insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office to summon his supporters to Washington on January 6th and urging them to march on the Capitol during the counting of electoral votes. He did this despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day. President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President, and others in the Capitol. Each and every one of these conclusions compels me to support conviction.”
Romney is a former governor of Massachusetts who ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign as the Republican nominee in 2012 against former President Barack Obama. He became the first senator in U.S. history to vote to remove a president of his own party in early 2020 during the first, Ukraine-related impeachment proceedings against Trump, which also ended in acquittal.
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