Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Marco Rubio, Contender to Be Trump’s Running Mate, Defends Supreme Court’s Immunity Ruling

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a contender to be former President Donald J. Trump’s running mate, indicated on Sunday that he supported the Supreme Court ruling granting Mr. Trump and future presidents substantial immunity from prosecution.

“I think what the Supreme Court did is, it clarified what the law is,” he said on CNN, arguing that this had become necessary “because it is clear that we have reached an era where there are people in American politics who believe that our courts are now a weapon that can be used against their political opponents. You look at what their efforts, on what they’ve done in the courts to persecute and prosecute Donald Trump.”

The interviewer, Dana Bash, noted that the same Justice Department that is prosecuting Mr. Trump is also prosecuting a Democratic senator, Robert Menendez of New Jersey. Mr. Rubio replied, “They only go after Democrats that don’t do everything the Democrats want them to do.”

Mr. Rubio denied that Mr. Trump had called for weaponizing the Justice Department against his political opponents — something Mr. Trump has done on many occasions. Among other instances, Mr. Trump has said that, if elected again, he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate President Biden; reposted calls on social media for specific officials to be jailed and for former Representative Liz Cheney to be subjected to “televised military tribunals”; and indicated that he would intervene in Justice Department prosecution decisions.

And Mr. Rubio largely avoided a question about whether he could reconcile the Supreme Court’s ruling with his own statement in 2021 — after he voted to acquit Mr. Trump in his impeachment trial for his actions leading up to and on Jan. 6 — that it was not Congress’s job to hold a former president accountable because it should be up to “history and, if necessary, the courts” to do so. Instead of answering the question, Mr. Rubio instead repeated the baseless accusation that the criminal cases against Mr. Trump were evidence of Democratic weaponization of government.

Mr. Rubio, a staunch abortion opponent, was also asked whether the Republican Party should change its platform to say that abortion laws should be left to the states and not to Congress — a prospect that has angered some anti-abortion groups.

“I think our platform has to reflect our nominee,” he said, adding that “even if we wanted to, you couldn’t pass” an abortion ban through a closely divided Congress.

Mr. Trump has said the same. He has not answered questions about whether he would support efforts outlined by allies to restrict abortion nationwide through executive action or federal agencies.

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