Fact check: Utah Republican Party is not officially recalling Mitt Romney

Posts circulating on social media allege that Utah has officially started to recall Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney after he twice voted to convict former U.S. President Donald Trump. This claim is false. The chairman of the Utah Republican party told Reuters it was not condemning Romney and the U.S. Constitution does not provide for, nor authorise, the recall of senators.

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks with reporters on the fifth day of the impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump, on charges of inciting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2021. REUTERS/Al Drago

The posts (here  ,  here  ,  here) say: “Utah OFFICIALLY starts RECALL for Mitt Romney.. 124k signatures in 1 hour!!”

In both impeachment trials in 2020 and 2021 Romney voted to convict Trump and remove him from office (here). In the 2020 impeachment trial, when Romney was the only Republican senator who voted against Trump, a bill was proposed in Utah to allow a U.S. senator to be recalled, but this bill was rejected (here  ,  here) and the Utah House Speaker said the Republican caucus decided after “robust debate” not to advance proposals to censure or recall Romney (here  ,  here).

After the 2021 impeachment trial, North Carolina and Louisiana’s Republican parties voted to censure Senators Richard Burr and Bill Cassidy for their votes to convict Trump (here). Censure is formal statement of disapproval and is therefore less severe than expulsion. It does not remove a senator from office (here) .

‘Recalls’ allows citizens to remove and replace a public official before their official term ends, but the recall of state officials is not allowed in Utah (here). In any case, the U.S. Constitution does not provide for, nor authorize, the recall of federally-elected officials such as senators (here  ,  here). The only ways to remove a senator from office are through impeachment or expulsion (here ,  here).

The social media posts appear to be referring to unofficial online petitions to censure or recall Romney, made by voters after the 2021 impeachment trial, which have garnered thousands of signatures, seen here , here and here .

Derek Brown, chairman of the Utah Republican Party, told Reuters via email that the Utah Republican party was not recalling or censuring Romney: “The Utah Republican Party is not doing anything related to condemning Romney, or either of our two senators for their vote.  None of the online petitions, most of which appear to be originating from outside of Utah, have nothing (sic) to do with our state party. Also, there is no recall process in Utah, so any discussion of an effort to recall Romney is false.”

The Utah GOP official statement regarding the impeachment vote of the two Utah senators (Romney and Mike Lee, the latter voted to acquit Trump), visible here  , says: “The differences between our own Utah Republicans showcase a diversity of thought […] There is power in our differences as a political party and we look forward to each senator explaining their votes to the people of Utah. Disagreement is natural and healthy in a party […] As 2021 begins, we look neither to the past, nor to be punitive.”


False. The petitions to censure Mitt Romney are not official paths to his removal, as posts claim. The Utah Republican Party told Reuters it was not doing anything to try to remove Romney.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here  .