Legal, security experts blast Rubio’s refusal to subpoena Bolton for Trump impeachment trial: ‘Utterly wrong and utterly ahistorical’

Legal, security experts blast Rubio’s refusal to subpoena Bolton for Trump impeachment trial: ‘Utterly wrong and utterly ahistorical’
Marco Rubio image via Screengrab

Although former National Security Adviser John Bolton did not testify during House Democrats’ recent impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, he said in an official statement on Monday that he is “prepared to testify” during Trump’s Senate trial if subpoenaed. But Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, in response, is saying that he will not vote in favor of subpoenaing Bolton — and attorney Jerry Lambe, in a January 6 article for Law & Crime, notes that a long list of legal and security experts as well as some journalists are lambasting Rubio for his absurd position.


On Twitter, Rubio posted, “The testimony & evidence considered in a Senate impeachment trial should be the same testimony & evidence the House relied upon when they passed the Articles of Impeachment. Our job is to vote on what the House passed, not to conduct an open ended inquiry.”

Paul Rosenzweig, former deputy assistant secretary for policy in the Department of Homeland Security, tweeted, “Marco, that’s both utterly wrong and utterly ahistorical. In fact, to the contrary, in every impeachment since the founding, the Senate has taken some evidence.”

Jennifer Rubin, conservative columnist for the Washington Post and one of Trump’s most persistent critics on the right, denounced Rubio’s position as nonsense — telling Rubio on Twitter, “Where did you get this? It's not how any trial anywhere works. If they found exculpatory evidence, you’d put it on.”

Attorney Jake Laperruque denounced Rubio’s position as absurd, tweeting, “By this logic, if tomorrow the White House released a series of e-mails and texts showing President Trump explicitly ordering staff to withhold Ukraine aid, senators shouldn’t consider it.”

Ben Pershing, political editor for the Wall Street Journal, noted that witnesses were called during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999. “Whether you’re for or against calling witnesses, it's worth noting that this principle described by Rubio was not followed during the Clinton impeachment,” Pershing tweeted.

Eric Columbus, former attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asserted that Rubio is “apparently unfamiliar with Senate impeachment rules.” And Orin Kerr, a professor at the Berkeley Law School in Northern California, tweeted, “The Constitution says it’s the Senate’s job to ‘try all impeachments.’ It’s a trial, not an appellate argument based only on the record from the House.”

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig also called out Rubio’s cluelessness, tweeting, “You can repeat it all day long: it’s still untrue and something you made up @marcorubio. Also: what are you afraid of?”

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, another legal analyst for CNN, tweeted, “The House should subpoena Bolton before it sends over the articles of impeachment, which would eliminate this argument.”

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