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

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump remarks put pressure on Barr Owners of meatpacker JBS to pay 0M fine over foreign bribery charges Questions raised about conflicts of interest around Biden son-in-law 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.


Rubio also suggested that removing Trump from office would be a victory for Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe foreign policy canyon between Americans over China Russia ready to freeze nuclear warheads in exchange for New START extension Safeguarding US elections by sanctioning Russian sovereign debt 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 BoltonJohn Kelly called Trump 'the most flawed person' he's ever met: report Bolton: North Korea 'more dangerous now' Demand for Trump-related titles sparks expected record year for political books MORE could provide new evidence on top of the findings of the House impeachment inquiry.


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

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate to vote Monday to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court Cunningham, Tillis locked in tight race in North Carolina: poll 51 percent want Barrett seated on Supreme Court: poll MORE (R-Maine) announced Thursday that she would vote to call additional witnesses, and Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPoll: Trump, Biden tied in Georgia McConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a vote in Senate Trump tells Fox he wants bigger relief deal as Pelosi's deadline nears MORE (R-Utah) is expected to follow suit.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate to vote Monday to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court Senate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court This week: Clock ticks on chance for coronavirus deal 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.