Sen. Lisa Murkowski To Vote Against Calling Witnesses In Impeachment Trial
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the GOP swing vote on whether the Senate should call additional witnesses during President Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial, said Friday she will vote against the motion to include witnesses — meaning the vote that is scheduled for later today will likely fail 49-51.
“The House chose to send articles of impeachment that are rushed and flawed,” she said in a statement. “I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena.”
She criticized that the impeachment has fallen along party lines, indicating to her “that there will be no fair trial in the Senate.”
“Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate,” she added. “I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.”
Many Democrats had eyed Murkowski as a vote that would tie the Senate 50-50 on the issue of subpoenaing witnesses. Two other GOP senators, Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), sided with the Democrats on the issue – giving them 49 of the 51 necessary votes.
Murkowski also said she wanted to avoid forcing Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial, to pick a side and act as a tiebreaker.
“It has also become clear some of my colleagues intend to further politicize this process, and drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the chief justice,” she said. “I will not stand for nor support that effort. We have already degraded this institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another.”