(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), discussing the FBI raid on President Trump's Palm Beach home, said he's seen things like this before, and it doesn't end well:
"Look, I am here in a very unique position in South Florida, surrounded by people that come from countries where this is familiar to them. This is shocking to Americans, but in Latin America and many of these countries around the world, here's what happens," Rubio told Fox News's Sean Hannity:
"A group takes power. One of the first things that group does is they begin to persecute and go after their political opponents, and then when the supporters of their political opponents begin to complain about it, they begin to target them and they criminalize opposition.
"And that's what is happening here now. They took power, they are demanding -- and you see it on Twitter and you see their public statements -- they are demanding -- they want Donald Trump arrested, they want him charged right now. They wanted him charged months ago, years ago, they wanted him charged.
"And I'm telling you, the next thing you are going to see here, Sean, because it's the playbook. And that is, they are now going to begin to say oh, these Trump supporters, these Republicans, they're very upset. They're saying very angry things, we think they might be a threat, we think they're radical extremists, let's start arresting them.
"The next step in this process is going to be that people who are supporters of Donald Trump or just conservatives complaining about this are going to begin to get harassed, are going to begin to get labeled as potential insurrectionists and are going to begin to get harassed by law enforcement. That's the next step in this playbook, sadly."
No one is saying what the FBI was looking for when it executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago mansion on Monday.
Press reports say the search was conducted for the benefit of the National Archives, which previously retrieved 15 boxes of White House records, some of them apparently classified, that should not have been moved to Mar-a-Lago.
"I actually don't think they went in looking for documents," Rubio told Hannity:
"I think that was probably their excuse, they found some Obama donor judge to write them -- a ruse, yeah. They found some Obama donor judge -- and not even a judge, a magistrate -- to write and give them the search warrant. I think they went in, they're looking to see whatever they could find.
"Their argument is, all right, we were here looking for documents, we didn't find those but look what we did find. Who knows what happened when they were in there because the lawyers weren't allowed to see it. These people are obsessed. The far left -- they will stop at nothing.
"People don't understand, this is the playbook from all over the world. The far left believes that their cause is so worthy that anyone who is against it must be evil, must be a criminal and must be punished and put away."
Rubio said "this is why elections really matter," so "we can bring in the director of the FBI, the attorney general, and force people to testify under oath about who told you what, who told you to do this, what was the justification behind this? The stuff needs to happen, and I hope -- we have to have the guts to do that."
Rubio also noted the inclination for retaliation: "What comes around, goes around. And here's what's going to happen. Now one day, they won't be in power, and whoever is in power, there's going be a lot of pressure on them to do it back to the other side, and now we do become a banana republic."