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

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign Republicans wary of US action on Iran California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE (R-Fla.) said Sunday that it would be a "terrible mistake" for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE to pardon former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortLewandowski refuses to say whether Trump has offered him a pardon Democrats return to a battered Trump Manafort's legal team argues NY prosecution constitutes double jeopardy 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.” 

ADVERTISEMENT
"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) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation 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.