Vermont House calls for Trump to resign or be removed; trooper’s social media post rebuked by AG

  • Jill Krowinski, the new speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives, speaks at a Rally to Elect Vermont Women in August 2020. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger

Associated Press
Published: 1/7/2021 10:11:41 PM
Modified: 1/7/2021 10:11:28 PM

The Vermont House passed a resolution Thursday condemning the breach of the U.S. Capitol and demanding that President Donald Trump resign or be removed from office.

“This resolution leaves no doubt as to where the General Assembly stands on the violent insurrection that occurred at the United States Capitol and our firm belief that the future of our country is in danger if President Trump remains in Power,” House Speaker Jill Krowinski, a Democrat, said in a written statement.

A violent mob loyal to Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in an attempt to overturn election results that were in favor of Democrat Joe Biden.

For weeks, Krowinski said, Trump has berated elected officials, made egregious claims of election fraud, and fueled district and doubt in the election process.

“The barrage of threats and calls for overturning a legally certified election culminated in one of the greatest assaults on our democracy that we have ever witnessed,” Krowinski said.

House lawmakers joined Republican Gov. Phil Scott, a frequent critic of Trump, who said Wednesday afternoon that the president should resign or be removed from office.

“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 said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, a Vermont state trooper has been suspended and an internal investigation launched after the off-duty officer posted personal statements on social media that appear to support the criminal insurgency at the U.S. Capitol, Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling said Thursday.

Attorney General TJ Donovan said Sgt. Lucas Hall, of the Shaftsbury barracks, should resign or be fired.

“It is completely unacceptable for a Vermont law enforcement officer who is sworn to uphold the Constitution to publicly advocate or condone the violent overthrow of our government,” Donovan said, adding that Hall has lost his trust and the public’s trust.

The Bennington Banner reported that a post in an account under the name Luke Hall said: “God Bless America!!!! Cheers to the great Patriots in Washington DC. The time has come … Let’s gooooo!!!””

Hall was suspended without pay, Schirling said. Hall couldn’t be reached for comment. No phone listing exists in his name. It wasn’t immediately known if he has an attorney who could speak for him.

“While we recognize the rights of all people including sworn law enforcement officers to express their views, advocating for the overthrow of the constitutionally defined democratic election process by force or violence violates our oath of office to uphold the Constitution,” Schirling said in a written statement.

He added that the actions, if true, have caused pain and anguish for Vermonters during an already stressful time and that the posts do not reflect the beliefs and values of the Vermont State Police, its troopers or its staff.

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