Rubio: It would be a 'terrible mistake' for Trump to pardon Manafort

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal Break glass in case of emergency — but not for climate change Democrats join GOP in pressuring Biden over China, virus origins MORE (R-Fla.) said Sunday that it would be a "terrible mistake" for President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE to pardon former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortLobbyist Tony Podesta returns to work for Huawei Former bank CEO convicted of bribery in scheme to land Trump admin job Trial begins for Chicago banker who exchanged loans with Manafort for Trump job MORE.

“I think it would be a terrible mistake if he did that," Rubio told ABC's "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.” 

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"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.

Rubio made similar comments on CNN the same morning, calling it a "huge political mistake."

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE'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.