Vermont Gov. Phil Scott is the latest Republican to speak out against President Trump
According to the Associated Press, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott told reporters on Thursday that he believes Trump abused the power of the presidency and should no longer be president after Trump pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival.
“I believe that the president abused his powers,” Scott, 61, said in a news conference when asked about Trump, per the AP. “It’s hard, in some respects for me, because I’m not a supporter. I didn’t vote for the president, and I don’t believe that he should be in office.”
His comments come one day after Republican Sen. Mitt Romney surprised many, including in his own party, when he announced he would vote to convict Trump and remove him from office for abuse of power.
While Romney’s guilty vote was a blow to conservative unity, it didn’t affect the end result: The Senate’s Republican majority acquitted Trump, 73, on both of his impeachment charges — by a 52-48 vote on abuse of power and by a 53-47 vote on obstruction of Congress.
Trump’s long-expected acquittal came after Republicans blocked the Democrats’ request to hear from key witnesses in the trial before coming to a decision, including from former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who’d reportedly claimed he could corroborate the case against Trump.
“If they’d taken more testimony, maybe they’d have had more information and maybe other senators would have acted appropriately,” Gov. Scott said Thursday.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump in mid-December after a months-long investigation found he had withheld about $400 million in military aid while pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden and Biden’s son Hunter.
Democrats argued that Trump’s actions equated to a bribe, betraying the Constitution, and that his stonewalling of the investigation amounted to obstruction.
However, Trump maintained he did nothing wrong throughout the trial and again on Thursday.
In his first official remarks since his acquittal, Trump repeated his claim that his impeachment was a “witch hunt” orchestrated by “bad people,” “dirty cops” and “liars” who aimed to remove him from office.
“It was Russia, Russia, Russia — it was all b——-t,” Trump said.
But Democrats, and now a sliver of Republicans, said they were trying to carry out justice.
“I believe he abused his position of power; withholding those funds is inappropriate,” said Scott. “I believe, as Sen. Romney did, that he shouldn’t be in office.”