A Florida Republican Senator offered a question during the interrogatory portion of the U.S. Senate impeachment trial Friday dismissed as “hypothetical” by a House manager.
Sen. Marco Rubio, who has said the trial of former President Donald Trump was a waste of time, posed a question to House managers and the defense lawyers for Trump about whether the trial would set a “new precedent.”
Rubio described a scenario that seemingly would apply to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Voting to convict the former President would create a new precedent that a former official can be convicted and disqualified by the Senate. Therefore, is it not true that under this new precedent, a future House, facing partisan pressure to lock her up, could impeach a former Secretary of State and a future Senate be forced to put her on trial and potentially disqualify from any future office?”
The question went to both sides, with Democratic exasperation clear from Rep. Jamie Raskin.
“I don’t know how many times I can say it, the jurisdictional issue is over,” the Maryland Congressman said, adding that Trump was “impeached while in office.”
The “hypothetical has no bearing on this case,” Raskin added.
Rubio has been consistently opposed to the trial, and there was not a real scenario where his vote was going to flip. He has held that the trial was unconstitutional.
“Even assuming Congress did have the constitutional power to impeach and remove a former official, it shouldn’t, and here’s why. It’s the creation of a new political weapon that we will see used. We’ll regret creating that weapon. One day, it’ll be used by a Democratic Senate to disqualify a former cabinet member who wants to challenge a Democratic incumbent. And one day, it’ll be used by a former Republican, future Republican Senate to disqualify a Democratic Vice President from running for President,” Rubio predicted on the Hugh Hewitt Show Friday.
“We’ll regret creating that tool,” the Senator predicted.