U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement to Historic City News after voting to acquit former President Donald Trump. In that statement, he explained his view of the attack on the Capitol on January 6th as well as his reasoning based on his understanding of the United States Constitution, trials by the Senate, and political overreach at the hands of moral opportunists trying to bully a former president of the United States.
RUBIO STATEMENT ON IMPEACHMENT:
I do not need to be convinced that what happened at the Capitol was the disgraceful work of a treasonous, criminal mob. It was not only unpatriotic, but also un-American.
Seeing images of that attack stirred up anger in me. Anger that our nation was embarrassed in the eyes of the world by our own citizens. Anger that Capitol Police officers who my family and I know personally had to deal with these low-life thugs. Anger that janitorial and food service staff I have gotten to know – many who came to America to get away from countries with political violence – had to clean up the mess left behind by these cretins. But if we have learned anything this week, it should be how dangerous it is to allow anger to influence actions.
The lead House Manager argued today that this trial isn’t about Donald Trump. That it was about our country. And that those who refuse to vote to convict are condoning the actions of a violent mob and failing to defend the honor of our Capitol and the people who work here. This is a ridiculous and insulting argument.
Impeachment is not a way of “sending a message” or taking symbolic action. Impeachment exists for one principal reason: to remove from office any officeholder guilty of wrongdoing.
Further, claiming that anyone who doesn’t vote to convict someone no longer in office is the equivalent of supporting a criminal mob is nothing but hyper-partisan politicians masquerading as high minded prosecutors trying to smear their political opponents.
The Senate does not have the Constitutional power to convict a former official. And even if we did, we should be very reluctant to use it. In the 244 year history of our Republic, we have never convicted and disqualified a former official in an impeachment trial. Doing so now would create a new precedent. And it would weaponize impeachment in a way we will come to regret.
The day will come when a future Congress – one with a new majority in the House filled with new members elected on the promise of holding accountable leaders of the opposite party – will give in to these passions and impeach a former official. The Senate will then find itself conducting a trial of that former official. A trial justified by the precedent we are asked to set here today. And a Senate tempted to convict by the tantalizing opportunity to disqualify that official from future public office.
Today the lead manager admitted that for the Democrats and their enablers working in the legacy media the purpose of this trial was not to hold the former President accountable. The real purpose of this trial was to tar and feather – not just the rioters – but anyone who supported the former President and any Senator who refuses to vote to convict.
I voted to acquit former President Trump because I will not allow my anger over the criminal attack of January 6th nor the political intimidation from the left to lead me into supporting a dangerous constitutional precedent. The election is over. A new President is in the White House and a new Congress has been sworn in. Let history, and if necessary the courts, judge the events of the past. We should be focused on the serious challenges of the present and preparing our country to confront the serious tests it will face in the future.