December 26, 2019
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is no pushover when it comes to Republican politics. This week, she went on the record saying that she does not agree with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Kentucky) stated position that he will work in “total coordination” with the White House during the looming impeachment trial.
“When I heard that I was disturbed,” Murkowski told KTUU, an NBC affiliate in her home state, in an interview that aired December 24.
McConnell already has been harshly criticized for his comments by Democrats—given that senators take an oath to be impartial jurors during the trial, The Hill reported.
“To me,” Murkowski continued, speaking of the Senate’s constitutional responsibility in the process, “it means we have to take that step back from being hand-in-glove with the defense. And so I heard what Leader McConnell had said, I happen to think that that has further confused the process.”
Murkowski, a moderate Republican, is seen as one of a few GOP senators who could break from the party on a vote to remove Trump from office; although the president is anticipated to be acquitted given the Republican control of the chamber.
Unlike some of her colleagues, such as Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)—a Trump crony who repeatedly has said that he is ready to vote and doesn’t need to hear any witnesses—Murkowski said she won’t “prejudge” the situation before the process continues.
“If it means that I am viewed as one who looks openly and critically at every issue in front of me rather than acting as a rubber stamp for my party or my president, I am totally good with that,” Murkowski added. “I am totally, totally good with that.”
McConnell signaled on Monday the talks about a trial are in limbo until senators return to Washington in a couple of weeks,, The Hill reported.
Research contact: @thehill