Marco Rubio: It's 'arrogant' to impeach Trump

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during a confirmation hearing for President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for national intelligence director Avril Haines before the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Washington. (Joe Raedle/Pool via AP)
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Kelly Hooper
·1 min read
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Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday said the argument that former President Donald Trump should be impeached so that he can’t seek public office again is “an arrogant statement for anyone to make.”

When “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace asked the senator about the idea that Trump should be impeached to ban him from running again, the Florida Republican quickly shot down the argument.

“I think that's an arrogant statement for anyone to make. Voters get to decide that. Who are we to tell voters who they can vote for in the future?” Rubio said. Trump's second Senate impeachment trial starts Feb. 8, and a conviction would disqualify him from running for president ever again.

Legal scholars, including members of the conservative Federalist Society, have presented this disqualification argument, countering Republicans who say that impeaching Trump after he has left office would be unconstitutional. The scholars wrote in a letter on Thursday that the Constitution’s impeachment power must be extended to former officials who could try to run for reelection.

Senate Democrats are expected to vote to convict Trump, arguing that he incited deadly violence after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. But at least 17 Republicans would need to join all Democrats for Trump to be convicted, and GOP senators have recently united around a bid to shut down the impeachment trial.

Rubio echoed that argument on “Fox News Sunday,” saying the impeachment trial is “counterproductive” and will “continue to fuel these divisions that have paralyzed the country.”

“The first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I will do it, because I think it's really bad for America,” he said.