BOSTON, NOV. 8, 2019.....Former Gov. Bill Weld said Republicans in the U.S. Senate have an existential choice to make with respect to the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump — "walk the plank" or vote for removal.

"My prediction is if they fail in that duty and line up behind the president, walk the plank, as I say, the verdict of history as I indicated in an op-ed piece in the Boston Herald this morning, will be harsh," he said Friday during a speech in Boston.

Weld, a long-shot Republican presidential candidate who participated in Richard Nixon's 1974 impeachment process, called on U.S. senators to remove Trump from office. His press conference in front of Faneuil Hall drew a small crowd of onlookers.

Trump led Weld with 82 percent of the vote in Massachusetts in April, according to an Emerson College poll.

The impeachment inquiry follows the release of a summary of a July 25 phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky and amid reports that the president potentially solicited help from Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. The inquiry into Trump is being undertaken by the Democrat-controlled U.S. House.

"The two things that the framers of the Constitution were most worried about in terms of the potential abuse of power by a president were foreign interference in our affairs and number two was ... the president's use of his office to secure his own personal gain or advantage—whether legal or political or financial," he said.

Weld said he would run against Vice President Mike Pence if Trump were removed from office and would do well against any of the potential Democratic nominees.

"Things may change, but to this point, at least the democratic proposals on issues as disparate as the budget and climate and education change seem to be a recital of how much money they are going to spend," he said. "As acting president after the removal of Mr. Trump, [Pence would] have to run in primaries just like anybody. So, it would be off to the races."

Tom Mountain, a Trump campaign spokesperson for Massachusetts and New Hampshire, said the MassGOP party is not taking Weld seriously. Mountain is also a member of the Republican state committee.

"If he has any dignity he should ride off into the sunset," Mountain said in an interview with the News Service. "No one is taking Bill Weld seriously except Bill Weld."

Weld said he doesn't care what MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons thinks.

"I'm not sure what [Trump] does take seriously," he said in response to Mountain's statements. "I'm not sure that he's really fit in with the office that he occupies. So, whether or not he takes something seriously I don't think is a meaningful question."

Weld said people should focus on the fact that the president has allegedly committed impeachable and removable offenses.

"We shouldn't tip-toe around and say what beautiful new clothes the Emperor has," he said. "There is almost a willing suspension of disbelief in parts of Washington here, and I think it's important that the Republican members of the Senate know that the people are going to hold them accountable for their decisions."