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MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday called for fellow Republican President Donald Trump to "resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet, or by the Congress," placing the blame for rioters storming the U.S. Capitol squarely on the president's shoulders. 

“Make no mistake, the President of the United States is responsible for this event," Scott said. He called the attack in the Capitol, as lawmakers were debating certification of the Electoral College results showing president-elect Joe Biden had won, "an unacceptable attack on our democracy."

The storming of the Capitol followed speeches by Trump and by his personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, whipping up the crowd. 

"Let's have trial by combat!" Giuliani told the crowd before it marched toward the Capitol. 

Scott called the day's events in Washington "a very disturbing time for our nation."

“The rioters have actively assaulted police officers, and they should immediately evacuate the Capitol building or be removed," Scott said. 

Scott has made no secret of his disapproval of Trump, a fellow Republican, as early as the 2016 presidential campaign. Scott called for Trump's removal following Trump's impeachment trial last year. 

“President Trump has orchestrated a campaign to cause an insurrection that overturns the results of a free, fair and legal election," Scott said in a statement issued late Wednesday afternoon. 

“The fact is the results of this election have been validated by Republican governors, conservative judges and non-partisan election officials across the country. There is no doubt that the President’s delusion, fabrication, self-interest, and ego have led us – step by step – to this very low, and very dangerous, moment in American history. 

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“The fabric of our democracy and the principles of our republic are under attack by the President. Enough is enough," Scott said.

In a joint statement, 

Vermont House Speaker Jill Krowinski, Republican House Minority Leader Patricia McCoy, and Progressive House Minority Leader Selene Colburn said they were "appalled to see the violence taking place in Washington, D.C."

The House leaders, who opened the 2021-22 biennium on Wednesday, pointed out that lawmakers of all parties had come together with Gov. Scott "to ensure aid and assistance was provided wherever it was needed. Protecting Vermonters was the priority and we put our political differences aside."

The First Amendment is foundational to our lives as Americans, and everyone should have the right to express their views, but the forceful takeover of Capitol Hill flies in the face of our democratic values and is completely unacceptable," the legislators said. "We hope that there is a peaceful resolution to this conflict, and in Vermont, we will continue to work together to the tackle issues that our important to all Vermonters.”

McCoy, of Poultney, issued her own statement condemning the action. "Let me be clear: this type of behavior has absolutely no place in this country, and goes against our most basic values and institutions," she said.

"Elected officials who encouraged today's abhorrent events should be ashamed. I am embarrassed for not only our national party, but also our nation.

“Our so-called leaders in Washington have a responsibility to reign in the recklessness that has been promoted, incited, and encouraged from among the most important offices in the nation. This cannot be allowed to happen again," McCoy said. 

Greg Sukiennik covers Vermont government and politics for New England Newspapers. Reach him at gsukiennik@reformer.com.


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