Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Sunday stated that it would be a “terrible mistake” if President Donald Trump pardons his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
“I think it would be a terrible mistake if he did that,” Rubio told ABC “This Week” when asked about Trump’s comments that he would not take a pardon for Manafort off the table, saying it could “trigger a debate as to whether pardon powers should be amended.”
“Pardons should be used judiciously,” Rubio said. “They’re used for cases of extraordinary circumstances and I just haven’t heard that the white house is thinking about doing it. I know he hasn’t ruled it out, but I haven’t heard anyone say, we’re thinking about doing it.”
“I don’t believe that any pardons should be used with a relation to these particular cases, frankly,” Rubio added.
“Not only does it not pass the smell test, I think it undermines the reason that we have presidential pardons in the first place,” he said.
According to ABC News, Rubio made similar comments on CNN the same morning, calling it a “huge political mistake.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office said in a heavily redacted filing Friday that Manafort lied to prosecutors about his contacts with the White House and an associate with suspected ties to Russian intelligence after signing a plea agreement with Mueller’s office.
The filing emerged more than a week after prosecutors accused Manafort of “committing federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the special counsel’s office on a variety of subject matters” in breach of his plea agreement.