10 lawmakers who didn’t co-sponsor resolution to remove Trump say how they voted — 15 don’t

Of the more than two dozen Vermont GOP lawmakers who didn’t co-sponsor a resolution calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office, 10 told True North Reports how they voted on the measure — 15 others wouldn’t say.

Politicians everywhere have spent the past nine days denouncing the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building. The event is distinct from the peaceful “Save America March,” which drew hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters to Washington, D.C., including a busload of 51 Vermonters.

Last week the Vermont Legislature, without knowing who vandalized the building, or if any other explanation existed for the riot, voted 130-16 to pin the blame on President Trump and to call for his impeachment. The U.S. House of Representatives subsequently impeached Trump Wednesday, charging the president with “incitement of insurrection.”

But lawmakers, both in Vermont and Washington, have a version of events that is increasingly at odds with the FBI on how the storming of the Capitol was planned and carried out.

According to the text of J.R.H.1, Trump “instigated” a riot on Jan. 6 when he spoke to thousands of supporters at The Ellipse park and instructed them to march to the U.S. Capitol, where they “violently stormed the building, attacking police officers, ransacking offices, terrorizing the members of Congress. The actions of this mob were not just criminal and lawless, they constituted a direct attack upon our democracy, and … this attack was instigated by President Donald Trump.”

That narrative was debunked on Tuesday when the FBI revealed it knew about plots to attack the Capitol prior to Jan. 6, and had issued a report with warnings on Jan. 5 — a full day before the the president’s speech.

As first reported by the Washington Post, the FBI’s field office in Norfolk, Virginia, warned law enforcement on Jan. 5 that extremists could commit a “war” in the nation’s capital. Steven D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, received the warning on Jan. 5 and shared it with other law enforcement by way of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The warning included knowledge of conspirators distributing a map of the Capitol complex’s tunnels, as well as arranging meeting points for conspirators from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Kentucky and South Carolina on the way to Washington, D.C.

One thread of communication the FBI intercepted about a planned attack, the Post reported, said: “Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled.”

Nevertheless, the Vermont Legislature voted to blame Trump, who in his speech at The Ellipse did not condone violence but instead urged only a peaceful march.

No record of the vote on J.R.H.1 was kept since lawmakers didn’t vote by roll-call. However, True North Reports contacted more than two dozen Republican lawmakers who didn’t co-sponsor the resolution and asked how they voted. Ten answered, and 15 refused to say. It is assumed that all co-sponsors of J.R.H.1 voted yes.

Six Vermont GOP lawmakers say they voted no:

state of Vermont

Rep. Robert Helm, R-Fair Haven

Rep. Robert Helm, R-Fair Haven

“Please let me just say that what happened in Washington last week was appalling and those that broke the law should be prosecuted. The USA right now is as politically divided as I have ever seen it. I believe the Legislature was only beating their chest to be recognized as being opposed. Furthermore, I could not see a way to impeach the president in about 7 to 8 business days. The other party tried that for two months last fall with no success, and I believe that it’s more important that we now start to get the country back on an even keel, and stop all the negativity. Trump is over and it’s time to move on. For these reasons I did not sign on to the resolution and I voted no.”

Rep. Terri Lynn Williams, R-Granby

“I did not support or sign the resolution concerning the President’s resignation. I believe the resolution was made hastily and I was not/am not convinced that the mob that attacked the White House was the protesters that came in bus loads from all over the country in support of President Trump. The article in Saturday’s Caledonian Record (‘Trump Supporters Share Eyewitness Accounts From Riot’) confirms that, at least locally. I believe President Trump asked for the support but not the violence. I believe that came from elsewhere.”

Rep. Arthur Peterson, R-Clarendon

“I voted no to the resolution because it condemned the President and not the violence. If the wording and language had been to condemn all violence that threatens our government, our institutions and our citizens I would have signed.”

state of Vermont

Rep. Lynn Batchelor, R-Derby

Rep. Lynn Batchelor, R-Derby

“I do not believe that anyone condoned the action or lack thereof of President Trump regarding the violence that occurred at our Capitol. My reasoning for my not signing on to the resolution was that I did not like the wording, and had not been able to read the final version before the vote took place. There was no discussion by the body as a whole. It was a vote for or against, and I voted not to support the Resolution as it was written.”

Rep. Tom Terenzini, R-Rutland Town

“The socialist Democrats … are great about putting up these resolutions that are basically meaningless. I don’t remember, when a lot of our cities were on fire from Antifa or BLM, I don’t remember Mitzi [Johnson]/[Tim] Ashe putting together [resolutions] condemning those people. It seems to always have a double standard when it comes to right and wrong.”

state of Vermont

Rep. Brian Smith, R-Derby

Rep. Brian Smith, R-Derby

“I voted no on this resolution for a couple of different reasons. When we first brought the gavel down the Speaker of the House said that we’re going to try to make this year a good year where we all work together and we try to solve the problems of the state. … And the next day I believe that this resolution was rammed down people’s throats. … [The resolution] says the president’s supporters marched on the capital and violently stormed the building ransacking and terrorizing.  It doesn’t say a few hundred or three hundred or four hundred supporters — they are insinuating that there was 100,000 people there climbing on the capital, and I didn’t like that either. … I believe this resolution was horridly pushed along and I really wish that our governor — and I am still a supporter of Governor Scott and always have been — I wish that we could all focus, including him and especially him, on the ongoing problems that we have in the State of Vermont.”

Four Vermont GOP lawmakers say they voted yes:  

state of Vermont

Rep. James Gregoire, R-Fairfield

Rep. James Gregoire, R-Fairfield

“I did vote for it. My constituents know why.  … The president has a duty to be the adult in the room. Instead of calming those who are filled with fear, anger and confusion, he chose to fan the flames into a fervor. That is not leadership and it is not in line with Republican values. The time in which we could co-sponsor was immediately after the GOP caucus, and I was already heading into the doctor’s office.”

Rep. Vicki Strong, R-Albany

“I voted yes on the resolution on behalf of constituents of mine who were upset and troubled by the behaviors of the break-in at our nation’s Capitol Building. However, I had concerns about the legislature writing a resolution so quickly while the news was newly being reporting of what had happened at the rally that afternoon. As legislators, we are responsible to do our best to always have the most accurate information possible as we craft bills, resolutions and policy, and I felt we were acting in haste while the circumstances of the break-in were still being reported and determined.”

Rep. Casey Toof, R-St. Albans

“I voted in support of the resolution even though I was not a co-sponsor.”

Rep. Marcia Martel, R-Waterford

Rep. Marcia Martel told True North she did not sign on as co-sponsor but voted yes, adding no further comment.

Five GOP lawmakers wouldn’t say how they voted, but offered comments instead:

state of Vermont

Rep. Lisa Hango, R-Berkshire

Rep. Lisa Hango, R-Berkshire

“I’d like to take this opportunity to speak up for some of my fellow Reps, of all parties — if they didn’t sponsor the resolution, it does not mean they didn’t support it. There are many factors playing into this — the compressed timeframe for electronically signing onto the resolution, the difficulty getting accurate information in such a short timeframe, and someone may have even missed the deadline due to being in another meeting or appointment.”

“The only people that I have heard from this week who care to contact me are people who have immediate needs for when they are going to get their Covid vaccine, and when they are going to get their unemployment benefits, and when people are going to get their internet connection. I feel like I was elected to not legislate national politics but to serve the people who elected me in my district and help them with their daily needs. … I feel like this is dividing Vermonters at a time when we need to be working together.”

Rep. Sally Achey, R-Middletown Springs

“I’m not going to release that information, thank you.”

Rep. Joseph Parsons, R-Newbury

Rep. Parsons told True North Reports he has been contacted by probably a half dozen publications but not one constituent. He said if a regular constituent calls, “I am an open book.”

Rep. Samantha Lefebvre, R-Orange

Rep. Lefebvre told True North she is not sharing her vote with the media but will speak with constituents who call.

Rep. Rodney Graham, R-Williamstown

“To be clear, I in no way support what happened in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, nor do I support President Trump. I believe I was elected to Represent Orange-1 District and the state of Vermont and not federal politics.”

Ten GOP lawmakers did not return multiple requests for comment:

Rep. Pat Brennan, R-Colchester
Rep. William Canfield, R-Fair Haven
Rep. Paul Martin, R-Franklin
Rep. Leland Morgan, R-West Milton
Rep. Michael Morgan R-West Milton
Rep. Robert Norris, R-Sheldon
Rep. John Palasik, R-Milton
Rep. Carl Rosenquist, R-Georgia
Rep. Brian Savage, R-Swanton
Rep. Harvey Smith, R-New Haven

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of The White House and state of Vermont

16 thoughts on “10 lawmakers who didn’t co-sponsor resolution to remove Trump say how they voted — 15 don’t

  1. I have only one thing to say to those who condemned the President and those who took part in the march, other than the Antifa infiltrators: #RememberAshliBabbitt!

  2. Time for term limits, Richard.

    Welch, Leahy and Sanders all qualify for that action that is a reality in some states. It definitely should be in VT.

    • Comrade James,

      Historically term limits have proven to be a dismal failure. Very few left office. This includes many of the ones who ran and were elected on the term limits platform themselves. One by one as their terms approached expiration they determined that, “they could not desert the people at this critical moment of critical need”. In the end they voted to end term limits. Yep, they terminated term limits.

  3. Our Vermont government is embarrassing. Kudos to these ten for being brave enough to stand up for what’s right. The fifteen that wouldn’t comment were probably afraid of getting their homes burned down by the tolerant left. Those who voted for this are dishonest people or just not that bright; VT government defined.

  4. Sighting an urgent government need, a staff member for Leader of House, Nancy Pelosi, today indicated as an adjunct to the upcoming Federal Full Employment Act, Democrats will be introducing, soon after the inaugural, authorization for the creation of a new Federal agency entitled The Federal Agency of Culinary First Responders. It is expected to initially create at least 230,00 new positions, with the expectation of an ongoing need for future hiring. From a budget prospective it will be one of the least costly agencies to operate and maintain. Salary will be aligned with GSA standers, however, the new positions will not entail any long term pension obligation.
    A spokesperson for The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), said they will be represented a new branch of the union and carry the acronym (FFTA).

  5. 16 January 2021

    Thank you Senator Ingalls and to the House Republican’s who did not lie.

    You all did your due diligence and you did not jump without the facts.

    Ashame on the House caucus for not getting the facts. President Trump did not insight violence, I know I was there and heard his speech first hand, live! Plus I’ve re-listened to his words. Further, the President condemned the violence at the U.S. Capitol at 3:26pm on Twitter on the 6th. Of course we cannot verify that today because Twitter shut down our President’s voice.

    Lastly, I witnessed antifa/blm ppl present and loud at the rally at the Eclipse and at the U.S. Capitol. This is about “We The People” and what is right. More on the cheating and corruption under separate cover.

    Many of these support signer members hate our President whose done a lot of great things for Vermonters! More on that later too. Thank you.

    God bless America, President Trump and you and your family,

    Gregory Thayer, MBA
    Rutland, VT.

    • Just think how the press might handle antifa wearing maga hats causing trouble at every capital.

      Just think what a fascist leadership might do with that.

      Just think, news reports going out amoung all agencies and media talking about a call to arms, but nobody can site a source.

      Can you say false flag?

      It would be the perfect subversive plan. How do the soviets call it? Create chaos, then be the ones to bring in to create calm, “normalization”…….aka, we’re now in control, see whom is first to call Marshall law.

      Their sins and corruption will not stand the test of time.mits going to be embarrrasing for some holding office in 2021.

  6. Great reporting Michael, this is terrific.

    Can you clearly see what happens when a reporter from a state wide news organization asks public officials directly about their vote. Major panic. They won’t talk!

    Have great respect for those whom I disagree with but are willing to publically talk about their vote. Keep asking questions Michael….ask on the other side too! When we asked people questions from Citizen Reports you could see and hear the fear. Everyone in Vermont is so used to making statement and getting their positive spin printed, they’ve never been interviewed…..never.

    “We need to vote on this bill so we know what’s in it…”, yeah, thanks Nancy. “We didn’t have all the facts before we declared war, it wasn’t our fault.”…..what?!?! You better make sure you have all the facts before you declare war.

    Great comments, great answers, great article, well done.

  7. Just imagine if all of these so called community leaders were on your jury in a court of law? They would be building the gallows as the charges were being read. What a disgrace! Of course, as the truth comes out, as it always does at some point don’t expect these pillars of society to regret their haste. Politicians are mostly followers and are immune to commonsense while always striving to be accepted by the mob rule. I hope their constituents take a hard look at them in two years. They will have plenty of time to apologize for their rush to judgement but it won’t be coming. There are very few Republicans in elective office in Vermont, it would be great if they acted as such instead of children. There are none so blind as those who cannot see!

  8. I find it pretty disturbing that someone is so convinced they should sign on to something so degrading without any knowledge of what took place that they should be willing to own up to selling out this president if indeed they voted to do it.

    People not willing to step up to the plate and a republican party or exposing themselves for not having a backbone and those that back this resolution certainly don’t have a backbone nor do they care about the people they represent.

    I am saddened to thank anybody would be willing to jump on the bandwagon to bury this president that has done so much good for our country without any knowledge of what took place.

    Obviously peter welch preaching to our governor and to the rest of the week minded republicans that listen to him has had a detrimental effect on their thought process.

    Eventually it will be released who did vote for or against this stupidity and I hope the people have long memories and are reminded frequently who the sellouts were so they can remember them when it is time to vote for them again.

    My father always taught us if you’re stupid enough to do something wrong be stupid enough to own up to it!

    We need to elect some decent representation in the state of vermont we are losing our state and any common sense from those we expect it from.

    • You are correct Richard, BUT it’s hard to run as a Republican in Vermont. when the bias media won’t interview you, have you in the debates. Unless you are a democrat or a RINO they don’t even give you a glance. That’s something to be really proud of, isn’t it? What are they afraid of, that the Republicans would make more sense or answer questions and not dance around the answers..
      We need to go back to true Vermonters who know what it means to do hard work for a living. they know about real life, they reach out to Vermonters, wanting to hear what they think and want, what can be done to make it better for everyone and not just be in office to work on just their pet projects or for their “friends” who moved here and want to change Vt into the state they left…Vermont used to be a good Republican state until… wll you know …

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