Rubio: Impeachable actions don't necessarily mean a president should be removed

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE (R-Fla.) argued Friday that impeachable actions don’t always mean a president should be convicted, saying lawmakers must also weigh the impact of removal from office.

"Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office," Rubio wrote in a Medium post.

"Determining which outcome is in the best interests requires a political judgment — one that takes into account both the severity of the wrongdoing alleged but also the impact removal would have on the nation," he said.

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Rubio also suggested that removing Trump from office would be a victory for Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinWest should echo Prague's Nemtsov remembrance Trump campaign sues New York Times for libel over 2019 op-ed Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE.

"Can anyone doubt that at least half of the country would view his removal as illegitimate — as nothing short of a coup d’état? It is difficult to conceive of any scheme Putin could undertake that would undermine confidence in our democracy more than removal would," Rubio wrote.

Rubio explained why, like most GOP senators, he would not support calling for witnesses at Trump's impeachment trial, adding that he rejects “the argument that unless we call new witnesses this is not a fair trial."

“Nevertheless, new witnesses that would testify to the truth of the allegations are not needed for my threshold analysis, which already assumed that all the allegations made are true,” Rubio said.

Democrats argue that calling witnesses such as former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Bolton's lost leverage Azar downplays chance Trump will appoint coronavirus czar MORE could provide new evidence on top of the findings of the House impeachment inquiry.

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Rubio was not expected to join Democrats in their push for new witnesses. 

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Democrats block two Senate abortion bills MORE (R-Maine) announced Thursday that she would vote to call additional witnesses, and Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOrange County declaring local health emergency in response to coronavirus Why Bernie Sanders won the debate Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response MORE (R-Utah) is expected to follow suit.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Overnight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MORE (R-Alaska) announced Friday she would vote against witnesses, giving Senate Republicans the 51 votes needed to bring the trial to a conclusion. Trump is expected to be acquitted, since 67 votes are needed to convict.

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber.