On Monday, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said that former President Donald Trump is “simply not guilty” of the charges laid out in the article of impeachment.
In an interview on Fox News‘ “America Reports,” Scott mentioned that he thinks Trump is not guilty of inciting a mob. The senator said that he knows how severe the situation is. After all, he was also in the chamber when the siege happened. However, Scott said that those who stormed the building should receive punishment and not the former president.
Democrats should put the blame “where it should b,” Scott said. He then added that it didn't have anything to do with “the president who said go ‘peacefully’ to protest.”
Apart from this, the senator also has speculations about two possible defenses that Trump’s team may plan on using at the trial. The first is that some of the pipe bombs and social media discussions about a possible riot were already in place even before the Trump rally. The second implies a potential double standard in the use of hypothetical language. Some Democratic Congress members have used it in speeches yet they do not have to face any legal repercussions.
For instance, in 2018, a number of people harassed former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders while she dined at a restaurant. After this happened, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) urged people to do the same thing to Trump officials. She even mentioned creating a “crowd” and that people should “push back on them.”
With these comments resurfacing in connection to the Trump trial, Waters defended her past comments. If people look closely at her words, the “strongest thing I said was tell them they’re not welcome,” she said. She also stated that she told people to talk to them and tell them that they are not welcome. Waters then mentioned that she didn’t urge people to fight and be violent, so she claims that the Trump team can’t use this defense.
Nevertheless, many expect Bruce Castor, the lead attorney on Trump’s team, to use Waters’ comments, in addition to similar comments made by other Democrats, at the trial.
Many expect the acquittal of the former president. Democrats will need 17 other republicans in order to convict Trump. However, only five Republicans in the Senate did not vote against holding the impeachment proceedings.