Kevin Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, asserted that former President Donald Trump’s speech didn’t meet the threshold of incitement and said he believed that the president was unaware of the violence that took place on Jan. 6.

Brock, who also worked as principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), said he thinks the president “was caught by surprise at what happened” that day. 

That was “a failure, frankly, on the intelligence that he should have been provided as president of the United States,” Brock told Just The News in an interview on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

“We shouldn’t be in a position where knuckleheads like Proud Boys and Oath Keepers can plan a disruptive, violent event, and it catches us by surprise,” he said. 

The House Democrats voted to impeach Donald Trump for a second time on Jan. 13, charging the former president with “incitement of insurrection” in connection to the U.S. Capitol’s breach where Congress gathered to certify the 2020 Electoral College vote. 

Brock said he listened to President Trump’s entire Jan. 6 speech. “I didn’t hear a single word about—or anything that would trigger a reasonable person to believe that he was inciting—violence,” he said. “He even used the words ‘peaceful’ and ‘respectful.'”

Brock noted that the president had used the word “march” in his speech when he told his supporters to march to the Capitol and voice their dissent. “But ‘march’—we’ve had peaceful marches as part of our history—doesn’t necessarily indicate automatic, violent response,” Brock said. “So I think they’d be hard-pressed to prove that he was using words that were inciting violence.”

Brock’s comments came amid growing evidence of advance planning and coordination of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach that undermines Democrats’ claims that Trump incited the Capitol riot. The U.S. Department of Justice said this week that the three charged in the Capitol riot had communicated and coordinated their attack since November. 

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee cited Vice President Kalama Harris’s actions for Black Lives Matter protesters where she raised funds to get them out of jail on bail. He said if former President Trump can be impeached for his words, “then we’d better impeach Kamala Harris for saying the things she did last summer about the rioters and looters.”

According to the Daily Caller, Harris raised money for a Minnesota group that bailed out several suspects charged with violent felonies, including murder and sex crimes. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who had called for a procedural vote regarding holding an impeachment trial, argued that Democrats apply a double standard when it comes to their side. 

“One of Bernie Sanders’s supporters came to the ball field, nearly killed Steve Scalise … but nobody talked about impeaching Bernie Sanders. Maxine Waters has said, ‘Get up in their face’—so has Cory Booker—’Become a mob, we want you to mob them at restaurants and cause mayhem.’ That sounds like an incitement to violence, but nobody’s talking about impeaching Maxine Waters, nobody’s talking about impeaching Bernie Sanders or Cory Booker for saying “Get up in their face.”

“So it’s a significant hypocrisy and double standard that they’re putting forward, and they should be called out on it. Nobody should be shy about calling them out on their hypocrisy,” he said

The Senate is set to begin Trump’s trial the week of Feb. 8. However, Paul declared that it’s “dead on arrival” on Tuesday after 45 Senate Republicans voted against holding the proceeding.