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Vermont Gov. Phil Scott speaks at a news conference Sept. 26, 2019, where he said he supported an impeachment inquiry into the actions of President Donald Trump. (AP/Wilson Ring) Vermont Gov. Phil Scott speaks at a news conference Sept. 26, 2019, where he said he supported an impeachment inquiry into the actions of President Donald Trump. (AP/Wilson Ring)

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott speaks at a news conference Sept. 26, 2019, where he said he supported an impeachment inquiry into the actions of President Donald Trump. (AP/Wilson Ring)

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde September 30, 2019

No, Vermont’s governor did not vote to impeach Donald Trump

It is not true that Vermont’s Republican Gov. Phil Scott "just voted" to impeach President Donald Trump, as a Facebook post claims.

"Hi I’m Vermont Republican Phil Scott. I just voted to impeach President Trump," said a Sept. 27 Facebook post that’s been shared more than 5,000 times.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The Facebook post is wrong on several accounts: a governor has no voting role in impeachment proceedings, there hasn’t been a vote to impeach Trump, and the governor didn’t even say Trump should be impeached.

What has Scott said or done? Below is the background provided by Rebecca Kelley, the governor’s communications director.

On Sept. 25, Scott’s office received an inquiry from the Associated Press asking for comment regarding the impeachment inquiry against Trump formally announced Sept. 24 by U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Scott’s office sent the Associated Press a statement which in part said, "we have much more to learn and need to understand all the facts as this serious allegation is considered. It appears Congress will be starting an inquiry process, which I believe is appropriate." Impeachment shouldn’t be taken lightly or abused, Scott’s statement said, adding that he hoped Congress would be objective and transparent in their process.

On Sept. 26, the governor at his pre-scheduled weekly press conference again was asked about the impeachment inquiry. VTDigger.org reported that Scott said he supported the inquiry, but hoped it would be driven by facts, not politics.

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"I think this is Congress’ responsibility and, again, let the facts determine the course of action moving forward," Scott said, according to VTDigger.org’s reporting. "When we see the facts, when I see the facts, I’d be happy to comment on that when it happens. I don’t want to get ahead of this."

Kelley emphasized to PolitiFact that Scott’s comments have been on the inquiry process and that he’s said that the outcome should not be predetermined, but fact-based.

So the Facebook post takes a step ahead of what Scott has said about the inquiry process to inaccurately claim that he "just voted" to impeach Trump.

The Facebook post additionally ignores the facts that impeachment-related votes involve the U.S. Congress, not state governors. The House also has yet to cast a vote on impeachment. (Read our story on how the impeachment process works.)

Our ruling

A Facebook post says Scott "just voted to impeach President Trump."

Scott has not done that. As Vermont’s governor, Scott cannot vote on this issue. Impeachment proceedings are a matter of Congress, not state governors. Scott says he supports a fact-based impeachment inquiry and that he’d comment on the topic once he sees the related facts. He has not said Trump should be impeached.

We rate the Facebook post False.

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More by Miriam Valverde

No, Vermont’s governor did not vote to impeach Donald Trump

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