In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said although he’s not ruling out the possibility President Donald Trump deliberately attempted to halt an FBI investigation into Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, he’s not going to assume the media reports are correct and throw the president under the bus.
On Tuesday, the New York Times and other media outlets reported an unnamed associate of former FBI Director James Comey said Comey kept detailed notes of conversations he had with the president, including one conversation in which Comey reportedly wrote that Trump said, “I hope you can let this go,” in reference to the FBI’s investigation of Flynn.
“Do you consider this to be a growing body of evidence that the president might have attempted to obstruct justice?” Tapper asked Rubio, who serves on the Senate intelligence committee.
“We don’t know yet,” Rubio responded. “Number one, I haven’t seen those notes. Number two, we have yet to take the testimony from Director Comey. You say someone who knows him says — well, we’re going to have him in two weeks before the intelligence committee. He’ll be asked that question. So, in two weeks we’ll know a lot more based on the testimony he gives under oath before the committee and the country publicly. Until then, we won’t know.”
Rubio later reiterated the point that no president should be allowed to “impede an investigation,” but he also insisted that it’s not clear that occurred.
"If any president tries to impede an investigation — any president, no matter who it is — by interfering with the FBI, yes that would be problematic,” Rubio said. “Not just problematic, it would be obviously, you know, a potential obstruction of justice that people have to make a decision on — any president. That said, we don't know if that's what happened here.
"I'm not disputing the press accounts, but I am also not going to accept them," Rubio said.
Rubio’s careful approach appears to be the exception, not the rule. Since the story broke earlier this week, Trump supporters have been quick to dismiss them as obviously false, while many Democrats and liberals have called for Trump to be impeached — despite having never seen the actual evidence against him and despite the fact Comey was required by law to report any potential obstruction of justice to federal authorities, which he didn’t do.
U.S. Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) called for Trump to impeached on the House floor on Wednesday morning, USA Today reported.
"It's a position of conscience for me," Green said. "This is about what I believe. And this is where I stand. I will not be moved. The president must be impeached."
“This latest move [to appoint a special prosecutor] by the Trump administration is too little, too late,” said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, according to a New York Times report. “We cannot afford to have Congress sit back and watch this play out the same way it just did, with Trump and his stooges obstructing another investigation into their corruption and high crimes. Congress needs to act now to impeach Trump.”