Rubio Battles CBS Hosts Over Trump Indictment, Blatant Two-Tiered Justice System

June 12th, 2023 3:10 PM

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) entered the lion’s den of Monday’s CBS Mornings to promote Tuesday’s release of his latest book, but that was barely covered as, naturally, much of the nearly 10-minute segment focused on trying to have Rubio side with the Biden Justice Department in its indictment of former President Trump following years of asking him to return dozens of classified documents.

Co-host Tony Dokoupil opened the segment with a soundbite of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Friday afternoon statement and even acknowledged Rubio’s book Decades of Decadence before diving in to point out, based on “your tweets over the don’t think [an indictment] should have been bought.”



Rubio argued while there shouldn’t “be classified documents at Mar-a-Lago” there shouldn’t have been either “in Joe Biden’s garage” or “on Hillary Clinton’s server” because “there’s a proper way to store” classified information.

That said, Rubio pointed out an indictment could be damaging to the country with threats to people’s lives, including, at a minimum, the judge and prosecutor. Co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King countered that Trump was alleged to have done “something wrong” given the fact that “[h]e was given plenty of opportunity to return” the documents (click “expand”):

RUBIO: So, I do think, however, when you bring an indictment it’s not done in isolation. It’s not done in a vacuum. You got to take a lot of things into account. There’s no allegation that there was harm done to the national security. There’s no allegation that he sold it to a foreign power or that it was trafficked to somebody else or that anybody got access to it. And you have to weigh that — the harm of that versus — or the lack thereof — on the harm that this indictment does to the country. This is deeply divisive. This is a polarized and deeply divided country. We’re on the e — 17 months away from the election. You’re indicting the leading candidate, the likely nominee against the incumbent President. You’re already seeing attacks on the judges. The judge was appointed by Trump —

KING: But according to the indictment, though, senator, he did something wrong. He was given plenty of opportunity to return —

RUBIO: Right.

KING: — to return this material, and he did not do that.

RUBIO: And you have to weigh all of that, if proven, right —

KING: Yes, yes, yes.

RUBIO: — because indictments are one-sided documents offered by the prosecution, that’s why they have trials. You have to weigh that against the overall harm of the country. It’s — prosecutorial discretion happens all the time and when you weigh the two things, which is there wasn’t — there’s no allegation of harm to the country or national security. There’s no allegation in there that it was sold to somebody — not that they should have been there, but there’s not — and then you weigh that against the certain harm of this indictment because it will be certain harm. This will now put all of our institutions into tremendous crisis. The judge will be attacked. The process will be attacked. The Department of Justice will be attacked. The prosecutor will be attacked.

Co-host and former NFL player Nate Burleson got snippy with Rubio, trying to trap him in the Trump claim that a president can declassify something just “by thinking about it,” but Rubio wasn’t having it and neither was Dokoupil. When Burleson kept trying to press, he called out, “well, hold on.”

Following that failed attempted trap, Rubio returned to the issue at hand, which is “[t]he storage” of classified documents and should be “kept in a safe and — not in boxes, like in Joe Biden’s garage, like what happened, you know, with — with — with Vice President Pence, like what’s happened in the past — others.”

King responded by citing Rubio’s comments back when Hillary Clinton and her private e-mail server were the dominant political story and he said such conduct was “disqualifying” from the presidency.

Asked how Trump’s different, Rubio insisted “those are arguments that Donald Trump’s opponents will use” but where his issue remains is whether to bring an indictment in such “a volatile political situation we’re living in."

Dokoupil engaged on the Trump vs. Clinton angle, claiming she was just like President Biden and former Vice President Pence because those three didn’t show a “willful nature of” hoarding documents “over a very long period of time.” He then asked Rubio whether Trump should be blamed for the divisiveness of the probe since this was a result “of his own behavior.”

Rubio further invoked the double standard against Republicans versus Democrats by citing the fact that Bill Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger was only hit with misdemeanors (and, as a result of a plea agreement, no jail time) for stealing and stuffing classified information in his socks (click “expand”):

RUBIO: [A]t the end of the day, going back to why this can’t be analyzed in a vacuum. The reason why this will be divisive is there are plenty of people out there, myself included, that, using common sense, will say, hold on a second, Sandy Berger — he was the national security adviser to President Clinton — he actually stuffed classified information in his sock and hid it under a trailer, okay? And he was charged with misdemeanors as a result of that. Not a felony. Not a life sentence like what they’re asking for here. On top of everything else, that the unprecedented nature is when you’re going to prosecute the likely nominee of the Republican party to run as incumbent president, that alone is political in nature.


RUBIO: You have to know that and take that into account when you decide what to charge them with, how to bring this action, when to bring this action. And now, as a result of it is we are going to be subjected as a country to a 17-month circus and it’s probably not done. And, by the way —

DOKOUPIL: By the way —

RUBIO: — this has to be taken in the context of two impeachments, three years spent chasing a dossier that turned out not to be true, charges here in Manhattan, potential charges out of D.C. that are still awaiting. Whatever happens out of Georgia. 

After a brief discussion of his book and his view of why America’s been backsliding since the 1980s, King ended by trying to have Rubio state whether Trump’s “the person to be the next leader of this country” and if he’d pick Trump over Joe Biden.

Much to their dismay, Rubio repeatedly said he’d pick Trump over Biden based on policy and how Trump changed the party to better advocate for the working class harmed by globalism and specifically the shipping of jobs overseas in the name of cheaper products and bigger corporate profits.

Going to break, Dokoupil thanked Rubio for coming on and encouraging readers to take on the 49-page indictment since Rubio’s book is only 214 pages and thus not allow oneself to “be spun and counterspun” on this.

Monday’s back and forth was brought to you by advertisers such as Hyundai and IBM. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant transcript from June 12, click here.