Opinion

A Republican from South Carolina that witnessed the Capitol siege unfold found no legitimate reason to hold the previous president responsible.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) cannot see how anybody could possibly find former President Donald Trump guilty of ordering extreme protesters to storm the Capitol building on Jan. 6.

“The president is simply not guilty,” he told Fox News’s “America Reports.” “Putting all of the blame on President Trump, or some of the blame for the insurrection is just wrong in my opinion.”

The senator saw the unrest firsthand and revealed he was fully prepared to defend himself if a violent confrontation became unavoidable.

“I was in the chamber when the rioters were coming over, I was taking my jacket off, my tie off, rolling my sleeves up just in case I had to fight,” he said. “The chances of me understanding and appreciating the severity of the situation is 100 percent.”

Scott believes neither those peaceful demonstrators who stayed outside nor the president should be blamed for smashed windows, vandalized public property, seized offices, and even a complete evacuation of both the House and Senate.

“The one person I do not blame for that situation is President Trump,” he said. “I do not blame the nonviolent protesters outside. I blame the individuals coming in the chamber, coming in the building. The Democrats should put the blame where it stands, where it should be, and it does not, it does not have to do with the president who said go ‘peacefully’ to protest.'”

Concerning the second impeachment trial in the Senate, Scott believes the Democratic Party has a feeble case if solely judged on the former president’s choice of words.

“I do not believe that his words incited a violent insurrection against this country … that did not happen with his words,” he said.

He believes extreme rioters had planned the siege well before President Trump spoke at the March to Save America Rally.

“Frankly, the preplanning of the event started the day before when they planted bombs at the DNC and the RNC” he said. “That was before he said a single word … there is clear evidence that the planning that happened before the day, literally you can back up and see that planning completely happened before anything was spoken from our president, from President Trump.”

The U.S. Capitol Police; the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Metropolitan Police Department are continuing to investigate exactly who was behind the siege.

Anyone found guilty could face up to 10 years in jail for the “willful injury of federal property,” according to President Trump’s executive order on protecting American monuments, memorials and statues, and combating recent criminal violence.