FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phil Scott Must Face Trump Impeachment Questions

October 16, 2019

 

MONTPELIER, VT — Today, ahead of Governor Scott’s weekly press conference, the Vermont Democratic Party is calling on the Vermont Press Corps to ask Scott a simple question regarding his sudden flip-flop on the impeachment of the president of the United States:

“Is seeking foreign interference in a US election or asking for a foreign government to investigate your political opponent an impeachable offense? Yes or No?”

Vermont Democratic Party spokesperson, R. Christopher Di Mezzo, today released the following statement:

“Phil Scott should not be allowed in front of a microphone or behind a podium without being asked whether he thinks seeking foreign interference in a US election or asking for a foreign government to investigate your political opponent is an impeachable offense. Now it not a time for equivocation, disappointment, and oratorical ‘teachable-moments’ — this is a time for the Governor to stand up to Republicans in Washington and stand with Vermonters of all political backgrounds in condemning these obviously impeachable offenses by the president.”

Background: On October 11, the Vermont Democratic Party delivered the below press release.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VT Gov. Phil Scott Backpedals On Impeachment; Recycles White House Talking Points

October 11, 2019

 

MONTPELIER, VT — On September 26, Vermont Governor Phil Scott became the first sitting GOP governor to endorse an impeachment inquiry. “I support getting the facts in that inquiry that's happening today," Scott told reporters.

Two weeks later, on October 10, Governor Scott backpedaled — walking back his original support for the impeachment inquiry, taking up RNC/White House talking points. “There is a responsibility of Congress to take a vote on this,” Scott said, recycling language from an unhinged and legally dubious letter sent to the Speaker of the House from the White House Counsel’s Office. Scott went on to say that he hoped the allegations against Trump “do not rise to the level of impeachment” — a talking point frequently broadcast on Fox News and by right-wing figures like Kevin McCarthy and Ken Starr.

Finally, Scott couldn’t resist some old fashioned “moderate” GOP handwringing: He felt the impeachment inquiry has been “politicized on both sides” of the aisle. 

Vermont Democratic Party spokesperson, R. Christopher Di Mezzo, release the following statement:

“Phil Scott takes credit for his lukewarm support of an impeachment inquiry and then immediately backpedals at the first sign of strife within his own Party. He recycles GOP talking points from folks like Kevin McCarthy, Kellyanne Conway, and the President himself while also ’both-sides-ing’ the serious work of holding a reckless, power-abusing president accountable. Yet worst of all, Phil Scott doesn’t know if asking a foreign government for election interference or seeking a foreign government’s help to investigate your political opponent is an impeachable offense. Governor Scott time and again has proven himself a coward in the face of his Party’s political base — both nationally and here in Vermont. 

“From House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to just about every GOP Senator to Governor Phil Scott, the Republican Party’s message regarding impeachment is simple: While Donald Trump is an embarrassment to his office, the nation, and the Constitution, we checked our spines at the Capitol Building on January 20, 2017.”

Background: In recent weeks, Republicans across the county, have been twisting themselves into pretzels trying to find talking points on impeachment that will appease their base, evade any admission of impropriety, while also meeting the approval of Donald Trump. Kevin McCarthy may be the best case study — changing this tune on at least eight separate occasions:

 

September 25: “Ukraine started it!” (They didn’t)

The transcript is clear: Trump brought up Biden.

 

September 25, again: “Trump mentioned Biden once” (Nope, several times)

Again, the transcript is clear: Trump mentioned Biden several times.

 

September 28: “It’s the Deep State” (Oh, hi, Deb Billado)

McCarthy then moved to conspiracy mongering. He claimed that the intelligence community inspector general changed the whistleblower rules in order to clear the way for the complaint against Trump. That, too, was wrong. Obviously.

 

September 29: “There’s nothing to defend” (Well, there’s an impeachment inquiry)

This exchange sums it up:

Scott Pelley: How do you expect the president’s defense to roll out going forward?

Kevin McCarthy: The defense of what?

Scott Pelley: Well, there’s an impeachment inquiry.

 

October 2: Schiff did it! (Again, nope)

Unsurprisingly, he was wrong and was quickly fact checked by the New York Times.

 

October 3: Timing is everything

Still searching, McCarthy then called on House Speaker Pelosi to suspend the impeachment inquiry. Just one problem: His call came one hour after Trump—on live television—called for Ukraine and China to investigate Biden.

 

October 7: Words have no meaning

In an appearance Monday on Fox & Friends, McCarthy claimed that Trump did not call for China to investigate the Bidens, when he had said just days earlier that “China should start an investigations into the Bidens.” Sure…

 

October 8: Obstruction, cont.

And in the latest move, McCarthy backed up the White House’s refusal to cooperate in the impeachment inquiry. The White House demands—as McCarthy himself did days earlier—deliberately confuse the House and Senate roles in an impeachment inquiry and “lacked substantive legal arguments,” according to the Washington Post. More, according to Vox, the White House-McCarthy argument “makes little sense,” given the House’s Constitutionally-provided impeachment powers, making the letter “a challenge to the very concept of congressional oversight.”

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CONTACT:
R. Christopher Di Mezzo
Director of Communications & Outreach
Vermont Democratic Party

rcdimezzo@vtdemocrats.org
(315) 368-3660
t | @rcdimezzo