Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida dismissed the second impeachment attempt against former President Donald Trump on Sunday as “stupid” and “counterproductive.”
“We already have a flaming fire in this country and it’s like taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire,” Rubio suggested to Fox News’s Chris Wallace. “Second, when I look back at time, for example, Richard Nixon, who had clearly committed crimes and wrongdoing, I think we would all agree President Ford’s pardon was important for the country to be able to move forward and history held Richard Nixon quite accountable for what he did as a result.”
Democrats’ focus on pushing impeachment, Rubio said, is a distraction that is costing the country and damaging the left’s narrative on unity.
“I think this is going to be really bad for the country… Not only is this going to keep us from focusing on really important things, but it’s also just going to stir it up even more and make it harder to get things done moving forward,” he said.
While Rubio said he thinks the former president is responsible for some of the Capitol violence that occurred on Jan. 6, he said hustling to indict Trump is not the best way to approach the situation.
“It was most certainly a foreseeable consequence of everything that was going on and I think that’s widely understood and maybe even better understood with the perspective of time. I think that’s separate from the notion of let’s revisit this all and stir it up again,” Rubio said. “…We have some really important things to work on. You want to really kind of bring the country together and remember — once again, how we can get things done isn’t by uniformity on all the issues, it’s about working through a process that allows people with different points of view to debate all that and get to a solution for the country.”
As the Senate progresses with political impeachment hearings, Rubio said he believes Trump is “entitled to due process…to a defense.”
“I think he’s entitled to testimony and evidence if necessary. The House doesn’t have much of a record of witnesses and so forth because they, frankly, rammed it through really quickly,” Rubio said. “I think obviously fairness is important no matter who it is we’re talking about.”
Rubio also pledged to vote against the trial if presented with the opportunity.
“The first chance I get the vote to end this trial I’ll do it,” Rubio concluded. “…If you want to hold people accountable, there’s other ways to do it, particularly for presidents… This is a political process, and ultimately it is a political process that’s going to inject things into our public discourse into our debates, that’s going to make it harder to get important things done, and is just going to continue to fuel, these divisions that are paralyzed the country and turn it into a country of people that hate each other.”