The second indictment of former President Donald Trump, this time related to classified documents he took from the White House, will do great “harm” to America, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Friday.
For one thing, Rubio noted, President Joe Biden reportedly retained classified documents from his eight years as vice president without securing them as well as Trump stored records at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.
After declining to opine on the merits of the sealed charges against Trump after the news broke Thursday evening, Rudio told The Daily Signal that “the harm, whatever harm was created by documents being stored, be they in Biden’s garage or Mar-a-Lago or wherever, is far outweighed by the harm of bringing this indictment.”
Little more than two months ago, a Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump in relation to alleged hush money payments made to pornography star Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, before Trump won the presidency in 2016.
Although the charges brought Thursday by a federal grand jury as part of a Justice Department investigation were expected to remain sealed until Trump appears Tuesday in court in Miami, news organizations obtained it Friday afternoon and confirmed it involves the former president’s keeping of classified documents after leaving the White House.
First, Rubio said, the sealed indictment came as the U.S. “is already a dangerously polarized country and now, you are now on top of it are going to pour gasoline with an indictment … that you know a significant plurality of Americans, significant percentage, are going to say, ‘That’s political.’”
Second, beyond further dividing the country, Rubio predicted that Americans will see the indictment as indicative of America’s institutions “being politicized.”
“We need an FBI that works,” Rubio said. “We need a Justice Department that people have confidence in. This is going to undermine confidence in that, and at the same time as that’s going on, I think you also have to ask yourself, … how do we come back from it? What happens now? The next Republican president is going to be under tremendous pressure to do the same thing to a Democrat, and then we become the Third World.”
Rubio, one of Trump’s Republican rivals in the 2016 primaries, commented on the new indictment of the former president during an interview with “The Daily Signal Podcast” in which he discussed his new book “Decades of Decadence: How Our Spoiled Elites Blew America’s Inheritance of Liberty, Security, and Prosperity.”
According to multiple news reports, the indictment contains charges against Trump that include obstruction of justice for allegedly making false representations in sworn statements to the FBI and the grand jury.
Trump released a defiant statement Thursday night, writing on his Truth Social website:
The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax, even though Joe Biden has 1850 Boxes at the University of Delaware, additional Boxes in Chinatown, D.C., with even more Boxes at the University of Pennsylvania, and documents strewn all over his garage floor where he parks his Corvette, and which is ‘secured’ by only a garage door that is paper thin, and open much of the time.
The unprecedented indictment of a former president, via the Justice Department of a sitting president who is the former president’s political rival, marks the second time Trump has been indicted in just over two months.
His indictment March 30 in the Clifford case followed an investigation led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat.
Trump appeared for his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court a month later. The criminal trial in that earlier case is set for next March.
Jarrett Stepman and Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.
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