Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told "Fox News Sunday" that the upcoming Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is "stupid" and harmful for the U.S., even if Trump was responsible "for some of what happened" at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Friday that lawmakers will wait to carry out Trump's impeachment hearings for several weeks, delaying the onset of the trial until the week of Feb. 8.
"Well, first of all, I think the trial is stupid. It’s counterproductive," Rubio said Sunday. "We already have a flaming fire in this country, and it’s like taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire.
"Second, I look back at a time, for example, Richard Nixon, who had clearly committed crimes and wrongdoing, and in hindsight I think we would all agree that President Ford’s pardon was important for the country to be able to move forward. And history held Richard Nixon quite accountable for what he did as a result."
"I think the president bears responsibility for some of what happened. It was most certainly a foreseeable consequence of everything that was going on," Rubio said. "All I'm arguing is we have some really important things to work on. ... We're gonna jump right back into what we've been going through for the last five years, and stirring it up again with a trial, and it's just going to be bad for the country."
Rubio said it was "arrogant" for Democrats to pursue a Senate conviction in order to bar Trump from running for office again.
"I think that's an arrogant statement for anyone to make. Voters get to decide that. Who are we to tell voters who they can vote for in the future?" he said.
Rubio also reflected on the future of the Republican Party.
"The GOP is the party that nominated Donald Trump and the reason why it did — and ultimately got him elected, and he got 75 million votes — is because you have tens of millions of Americans that feel this economy isn't working for people like them, that feel socially displaced, even like strangers in their own country," Rubio said.
"That's what I hope we’ll be a party of," he added. "I hope we can do it in a way that keeps the people who believe we're fighting for them and brings back some of the people that perhaps didn't vote for Republicans or didn't vote for the president because they may not like, you know, the way it was said or the way it was done.
"I think that's quite possible, and I think that's the future of the Republican Party, because, frankly, on that depends the future of the country."
Fox Business' Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.