Senator Marco Rubio, the one-time Republican primary contender whose then-opponent Donald Trump derisively dubbed “Little Marco,” might be in a position to even the score, Florida Politics reports. Rubio shared his thoughts on possible paths forward in an interview following the announcement that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had completed his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr.
Rubio joined lawmakers on both sides of the aisle emphasizing the importance of the report’s findings coming to light. At the same time, he indicated that the executive branch, not unique to Trump, generally has the power and authority to manage the release of information in this type of special counsel report. He was clear in pointing out that the executive branch in general and the Justice Department in particular are responsible for making such decisions.
There is a limit to that discretion, however, Rubio says. He said that it doesn’t mean a president has the power to influence the investigations themselves. If Trump has done so or attempts to do so now, Rubio indicates, there are actions that can be taken.
“There’s a remedy for that,” he said. “First, the president is politically accountable. And second, if a president has done things or abused power, they can be impeached. If the House wants to make that argument, then they can. That hasn’t happened yet.”
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 23, 2019
Rubio’s position as a member of the Senate, where Republicans maintain control by the slimmest of margins, puts him in a unique position to discuss the possibilities or political logistics of potential impeachment proceedings against Trump. With a two-thirds Senate majority necessary to remove a sitting president from office, a relatively large number of Republicans like Rubio would need to cross the aisle to join Democrats in voting against Trump. While so far Republicans, particularly in the Senate, have remained largely loyal to the president, the contents of Mueller’s report may or may not influence their positions.
“I wanted the Mueller probe. I wanted it be conducted without any interference,” Rubio said. “When it was all said and done, the best thing for country and for the president is for this probe to move forward and be concluded. That’s what’s happened now.”
As a member of the Senate intelligence committee, Rubio will also have the power to influence additional proceedings related to the investigation, including the possibility of bringing in for congressional questioning individuals who chose not to cooperate with Mueller.
“There shouldn’t be anybody out there that we shouldn’t allowed to interview fully,” Rubio said.