- The JFK Library Foundation gave Sen. Mitt Romney the JFK Profile in Courage Award Friday.
- Romney received the award for voting to convict Trump during his first impeachment trial.
- The Republican senator was the first person to vote to convict a member of their own party.
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Utah Sen. Mitt Romney was named the 2021 recipient of the Profile in Courage Award on Friday for going against his party and voting to convict former President Donald Trump in his first impeachment trial last year.
The award, which is given by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, was created by the late president's family to honor public figures who risk their careers or lives to act upon their conscience in favor of the national interest despite popular opinion or pressure.
Romney was the only Republican senator to vote in favor of convicting Trump in January 2020 after the president was impeached on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The foundation released a statement announcing Romney as the recipient, praising "his consistent and courageous defense of democracy."
"As the first Senator to have ever voted to convict a President of his own party, Senator Romney's courageous stand was historic," a statement said. "During a time of grave threat to U.S. democratic institutions, Mitt Romney has been a consistent but often solitary Republican voice in defense of democracy and the rule of law."
At the time, Romney described his conviction vote as "the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life." He received widespread condemnation from his Republican colleagues and from the president himself.
In 2019, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also received the Profile in Courage Award "for putting the national interest above her party's interest to expand access to health care for all."
The foundation said that as a result of her working to pass the Affordable Care Act, she became the target of GOP political attacks and lost her first tenure as House Speaker in 2010. But, it said, she persisted, and "led Democrats in electing the most diverse Congress in U.S. history."
Former Presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush have also received the award.