Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott called on President Donald Trump to "resign or be removed from office" for inciting Wednesday's riot at the U.S. Capitol. In a statement released Wednesday evening, Scott accused the president of blatantly trying to spark an "insurrection."
“This is a very disturbing time for our nation. What we are seeing today at the U.S. Capitol is not a peaceful protest — it is an unacceptable attack on our democracy," Scott wrote. “Make no mistake, the President of the United States is responsible for this event."
“President Trump should resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet, or by the Congress," Scott said.
Scott's comments came hours after a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol and halted the official acceptance of November's election results, prompting a temporary lockdown amid a surreal scene of violence at the national landmark. Trump encouraged the mob to head for the Capitol complex after a rally in front of the White House, where the president and his allies repeated baseless claims of a "stolen election" and urged supporters to "show strength."
“You'll never take back our country with weakness," Trump said. "You have to be strong."
Scott said Trump's conduct can be directly tied to Wednesday's events. “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," Scott wrote.
Scott has been a prominent Trump critic, rarely mincing words when asked to respond to the latest scandal to plague the polarizing president.
The Vermont governor made headlines last year when he publicly backed the impeachment probe, and again this November when he became the first GOP governor to publicly announce that he had voted for Joe Biden. He was then among only a small contingent of high-ranking Republican officials to acknowledge Biden's victory once the race had been officially called.
“The fabric of our democracy and the principles of our republic are under attack by the President," Scott said in his Wednesday statement. "Enough is enough."
Scott was not alone in his call for Trump’s removal. A growing chorus of critics — including the National Association of Manufacturers, one of the country’s largest lobbying groups — has urged members of the president’s cabinet to temporarily remove him from power by invoking the 25th Amendment.
Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who was temporarily locked down inside the House chamber Wednesday afternoon, told reporters that he did not think it was “realistic” for Trump to be removed from office just two weeks before his tenure ends on January 20.
Still, Welch said he supports removing Trump “right away."
“If anyone’s earned impeachment or removal,” Welch said, “President Trump has done it.”