Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio argued Sunday that while former President Donald Trump “bears responsibility for some of” the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, convicting him in the Senate is “a bad idea.”
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Rubio called the prospect of holding a trial in the Senate after Trump has left office “stupid” and “counterproductive.”
“We already have a flaming fire in this country and it’s taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire,” he told anchor Chris Wallace.
Pointing to former President Gerald Ford’s pardon of former President Richard Nixon as something that was “important for the country and history,” Rubio contended that trying Trump will be “really bad for the country.”
“It’s gonna take us, not just is going to keep us from focusing on important things but it’s also just going to stir it up even more and make it even harder to get things done moving forward,” he said.
After Wallace played a clip of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticizing Trump for his role in instigating the riot, Rubio agreed that the former president “bears responsibility for some of what happened.”
“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,” Rubio said. “I think that’s separate from the notion of let’s revisit this all and stir it up again.”
“We’re gonna jump right back into what we’ve been going there for the last five years in stirring it up again with the trial and it’s just going to be bad for the country, it really is,” he continued.
“It’s just going to continue to fuel these divisions that have paralyzed the country and have turned us into a country of people that hate each other,” Rubio added.
The Florida senator later responded to a question about whether barring Trump from holding office would be “useful” by calling it an “arrogant statement for anyone to make.” (RELATED: POLL: 9 In 10 Democrats Want Trump Convicted — And Less Than 2 In 10 Republicans Do)
“Voters get to decide that,” he said. “Who are we to tell voters who they can vote for in the future?”
Impeachment articles are set to be delivered to the Senate on Monday.