Senate Democrats will begin former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial begins this week despite Trump having left office last month.
Although the former president is facing accusations that he incited the deadly riot on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, South Carolina’s junior senator says he doesn’t see the evidence for that.
In an interview on Monday with Fox News, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) insisted that responsibility for the unrest lies with those who actually broke the law. Scott told America Reports co-host John Roberts that “the president is simply not guilty.”
Individuals to blame
The Republican lawmaker recalled taking off his jacket and tie when the rioters arrived “in case I had to fight.”
“The chances of me understanding and appreciating the severity of the situation is 100 percent,” Scott noted. “The one person I don’t blame for that situation is President Trump.”
“I don’t blame the non-violent protesters outside,” he continued. “I blame the individuals coming in the chamber, coming in the building.”
“And so the Democrats should put the blame where it stands, where it should be,” he added. “And it does not have to do with the president who said go ‘peacefully’ to protest.”
Scott admitted that he felt Trump’s words “were not helpful in having folks gather at the Capitol,” but the senator went on to say that he doesn’t believe Trump “incited a violent insurrection against this country.”
Hypocrisy from Democrats
Scott then pointed to the “clear evidence” that some of the rioters engaged in “pre-planning,” noting that bombs were planted a day before the Capitol riot at the DNC and RNC.
“Putting all the blame or part of the blame on President Trump for the insurrection is just wrong, in my opinion,” he said.
Scott also recalled instances in which high-profile Democrats have used rhetoric calling for aggression and harassment, and yet experienced no consequences for doing so.
One of them is long-time Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who in a belligerent speech in 2018 called on her supporters to “create a crowd” and “push back on” any member of the Trump administration that they saw in a public place.