SALT LAKE CITY — Reacting to the violent protests in the nation's capital, Utah State Auditor John Dougall called President Trump "seditious and treasonous," and called for him to resign or be removed from office.
In a public post on Facebook on Wednesday night, Dougall, condemned the president.
"My duty is to defend the US Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, not to defend any specific individual," he wrote. "Trump is seditious and treasonous. He needs to resign or be officially removed from office. Let there be no doubt of my opinion."
In an interview Thursday with FOX 13, he didn't back down.
"I think he should resign if not be officially removed from office because yesterday was beyond the pale," Dougall said.
Utah Republican leaders have unanimously condemned the violence at the U.S. Capitol. In a video statement, Governor Spencer Cox called on Utahns to speak up and denounce it.
"I urge you to stand up and speak out against the violence, against the terrorists, against the evil we have seen in our nation’s capital," he said.
The Utah Republican Party itself criticized the violence.
"The Utah Republican Party condemns this intrusion into our electoral process. Our Constitution protects the right to peacefully protest, and to engage in vigorous debates over politics and ideas, but violence or destruction in any form are an affront to who we are as Americans. At this time, we must unify and peacefully follow the processes established by our Constitution," the Utah GOP said.
Members of the Utah Republican Party's state central committee, which included Trump supporters, also denounced the riots in a statement.
"Among its ranks, the Utah Republican State Central Committee includes those who voted for President Trump and those who didn’t; those who see as invalid the results of the 2020 presidential election and those who don’t; those who are inclined to peacefully protest and those who aren’t. Despite the different ways we seek to promote conservative values, we can agree that the mobbish rioting at the Capitol today is not patriotism and is completely unsupportable," members of the committee said.
Dougall is an independently elected member of the executive branch and received more votes for re-election than any other Republican in state history (over one million votes). He has supported President Trump on issues in the past, he said, but could not support his actions at a rally in Washington D.C. He also urged his fellow Republicans to take it further.
"It was easy for folks to condemn the violence. We can all agree on that," Dougall told FOX 13. "But to me, you need to go upstream and say 'What led to this? What actions did the president take at a rally that was designed to foment a mob, to have them march on the Capitol?'"
Since he spoke out, Dougall said he has received praise and criticism from conservatives in Utah. It is similar to the state's relationship with President Trump — a complicated one. Republicans have supported the president on some things and sought to distance themselves from others. Utah senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney voted against Electoral College challenges, while congressional representatives split: Reps. Burgess Owens and Chris Stewart voted to support Pennsylvania's election challenge (and Reps. John Curtis and Blake Moore did not).