- Senator Mitt Romney was worried for the safety of his family in Utah when rioters stormed the Capitol.
- He asked the Utah governor to send state police to his home outside Salt Lake City, according to a new book.
- “We got the family out of there,” Utah Governor Spencer Cox told the authors of Jan. 6, 2021.
During the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol, Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah’s security concerns were more than 2,000 miles from the Senate hearing room where he waited end of the riot with colleagues.
Worried about his family, Romney called Utah Governor Spencer Cox on his personal cell phone to ask him to send state police to his home outside Salt Lake City, according to the new book. “This Won’t Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future.”
“There were reports that protesters were heading towards the Romney house — their personal home,” Cox told authors and New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns. “I immediately sent the highway patrol there and we got the family out of there.”
During the 2016 electionsRomney, a former Massachusetts governor elected from Utah to the US Senate in 2018, strongly criticized then-candidate Donald Trump, calling him “fake” and a “fraud”.
And in February 2020, Romney earned the distinction of becoming the first senator to vote in favor of deletion a president of his own party because of what he described as Trump’s “appalling breach of public trust”. He voted to convict Trump of abuse of power for withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine and pressured Ukrainian officials to investigate the Biden family.
Romney’s demand of Cox during the Jan. 6 insurrection was not “overheated or panicked,” since the immediate threat was in DC, according to the book. But MAGA activists had been targeting Romney on social media for months, the authors wrote, given that he was “the nation’s most recognizable Republican dissident.”
“Even before the riot, he had already been berated on airplanes by ebullient Trump fans,” the authors wrote.
When the Capitol was breached, Romney dodged the insurgent crowd in mere seconds because he was redirected by US Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman. “That’s what the president caused today, instigator of this – this insurrection,” Romney told his colleagues in the Senate hearing room, according to Burns and Martin.
Romney called the insurgency “heartbreaking” in a speech when he returned to the Senate chamber. “I have 25 grandchildren. A lot of them were watching TV, thinking about that building, about whether their grandfather was okay. I knew I was okay,” he said.
“What happened here today is an insurrection caused by the President of the United States,” he added.
Romney was among seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in his impeachment trial in connection with the Capitol insurrection.
The Utah senator’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.