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

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioCongress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help Trump administration eyes new strategy on COVID-19 tests ACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants 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 PutinWhat must our Gold Star Families think? Putin: Rainbow flag at US Embassy in Moscow 'revealed something about the people that work there' With US sidelined, Macron's hubris and hypocrisy are on full display 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 BoltonSunday shows preview: Lawmakers to address alarming spike in coronavirus cases Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Bolton book sells 780,000 copies in first week, set to surpass 1M copies printed 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 CollinsCongress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday MORE (R-Maine) announced Thursday that she would vote to call additional witnesses, and Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyQAnon scores wins, creating GOP problem Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police MORE (R-Utah) is expected to follow suit.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators will have access to intelligence on Russian bounties on US troops Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police Senators push to limit transfer of military-grade equipment to police 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.