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Former Trump envoy says ex-US President ‘absolutely’ responsible for Jan. 6 riot

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The then-President Donald Trump holds a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 US presidential election results by the US Congress, in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. (Photo by AP)

A former GOP senator and member of the previous US administration led by Donald Trump, Scott Brown, has blamed the former president for the January 6 Capitol insurrection, saying his presidency was “diminished” as a result of the deadly siege.

The former senator from Massachusetts, who served as Trump's envoy to New Zealand and Samoa, Brown said his former boss’s impeachment was due to his role in the Jan. 6 events.

“Absolutely, I mean he bears responsibility. I think his presidency was diminished as a result of this, and I think he's paying a price,” Brown said in an interview to CNN.

“He's been impeached twice. He was impeached for those actions," he added. Pertinently, Trump became the first US president to be impeached twice over charges of “incitement of insurrection”.

The former senator said he supports an independent commission to investigate the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack, which left five people dead, including a police officer.

“To have a commission like this to find out who was responsible, what went wrong, to make sure it never happens again, it should be a no-brainer,” he said.

The move to establish the commission received approval from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives last week, with the backing of 35 Republicans.

However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he opposes the bill, which will be up for debate in the Senate this week, with clouds of uncertainty still looming over it.  

“You look at what happened on 9/11 when we were attack by foreign terrorists and we wanted to find out immediately: where was the breakdown, what happened and why. Well, this is no different," Brown said. “They weren't tourists. They weren't visiting just to have fun.”

Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6 this year as the Congress was busy with certification of the Electoral College votes. Trump himself addressed the crowd and urged them to protest what he claimed was a rigged election.

Republican lawmakers and previous administration officials urged Trump to give a statement to his supporters to quell the violence as situation went out of hand.

Trump called his supporters "very special" and said, "we can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You're very special."

According to a poll conducted in January, soon after the siege, some 52 percent voters surveyed said Trump was mainly responsible for the invasion of the Capitol by his supporters.

In February, seven US Republican senators alongside all Democrats held the former US president guilty of inciting the riot at the US Capitol, calling for his impeachment.

The US Senate, however, acquitted Trump in a 57-43 vote on the charge of inciting insurrection for his role in the deadly insurrection.   

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