Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has put out a lengthy statement explaining his decision to acquit President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial — and he’s not being very well received.
In his statement, Rubio concedes that even though he believes the president’s actions “meet a standard of impeachment,” he does not believe that he should be removed from office.
“Six weeks ago I announced that, for me, the question would not just be whether the President’s actions were wrong, but ultimately whether what he did was removable,” he writes. “The two are not the same. 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.”
In making his decision, Rubio says he assumed that all the allegations leveled against the president were true — that is, that the president really did try to extort the Ukrainian government to get dirt on his political opponents.
But he said that this still does not warrant removal because doing so would make Trump supporters angry.
“Can anyone doubt that at least half of the country would view his removal as illegitimate — as nothing short of a coup d’état?” he asks. “It is difficult to conceive of any scheme Putin could undertake that would undermine confidence in our democracy more than removal would.”
Of course, impeachment is the opposite of a coup — in fact, it is the constitutionally authorized process for removing a president who has committed bribery, high treason or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
The backlash to Rubio’s statement on Twitter was swift and fierce — check out some reactions below.
“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.” OMG you’re such a coward.
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) January 31, 2020
The GOP has abandoned the entire history of the party to keep this momentary hold on power. There is no “back to normal” after this. You have chosen Trump as the hill that you want the words Republican & GOP will die on. The Trump Party is what you are now. Shameful.
— HoweverKT (@HoweverKT) January 31, 2020
If the founders really didn’t want congress to use their power they wouldn’t have given it to you.
— Rachel Humpert (@Rachel_Humpert) January 31, 2020
Little Marco you are a complete disgrace.
Please resign, you’re the worst senator in US history
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) January 31, 2020
Now make a statement about how #Cipollone was in the room in MAY when 45 discussed withholding Ukraine aid to cheat in the election.
In MAY. In case you don’t understand, May comes before July.
— Lisa (@JoyfullyDazed) January 31, 2020
You are complicit in the destruction of our democracy. I hope Trump’s temporary approval of you is worth all the anxiety and pain your vote will cause.
Later, you won’t be able to say you didn’t know. You did. We will remind you.
— 🏳️🌈✡(((Shona Keir)))☪️🏳️🌈 (@ShonaKeir) January 31, 2020
At what point should you rush to the ER because someone cut our your balls, spine and character?
— John Weaver (@jwgop) January 31, 2020
I will not forget this.
— I’dReallyRatherNot (@IdReallyRather1) January 31, 2020
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) January 31, 2020
— Monica Fraker (@FrakerMonica) January 31, 2020
— Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) January 31, 2020