U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio staunchly opposes a second Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump and suggested the endgame Wednesday of disgraced President Richard Nixon as a model.
“I get it, hold the President accountable. Here’s the thing I would say. When Richard Nixon left office, Gerald Ford pardoned him. Now it was very controversial. It probably cost him the election, OK, and a lot of people ripped him apart.
“But I think years into the future, we all acknowledge that was the right decision because it was in the right interest of our country to move beyond that period of time,” Rubio said. “And I think that’s where we are now. Probably more so given the challenges we’re now facing.”
The Senator commented on the Fox News Radio Brian Kilmeade Show and noted that he hoped he could move Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on the question of impeachment.
“I’m making my views known. I’m doing it now on your program. I will express it to him directly,” Rubio said of McConnell.
Rubio suggested the prospect of impeachment may have been a bargaining chip “held until noon today for a little bit of leverage to prevent Trump from doing things he may have been thinking about doing.”
The delivery of documents would “immediately trigger a trial,” a fruitless endeavor, Rubio said.
“We have this raging fire already, and I just don’t think that when you have a fire that’s already pretty intense, the last thing you do is come in and pour more fuel on it,” Rubio suggested, a seeming nod to the fragile state of affairs just two weeks after pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol to derail the election certification vote.
Moving forward would “churn up some of these divisions at a time when we really need to put some of this stuff aside,” Rubio added.
“This is not a game. We inherited the greatest country in the history of the world, and it seems like we’re trying to ruin it on purpose. And I don’t get it.”