Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), one of three “swing” Republicans in the Senate who Democrats and the media believe can be flipped against President Donald Trump in an impeachment trial, just bolstered that perception on Tuesday by stating how “disturbed” she was that Senate Republican leaders pledged to work closely with the White House during the eventual trial, Breitbart reported.
Murkowski’s comments, which were seized upon by the left to use against President Trump, came during an interview with local NBC affiliate KTUU in Anchorage, Alaska, in which she issued criticism of both her own Republican colleagues in the Senate as well as the House Democrats who hurriedly passed articles of impeachment prior to the Christmas break.
According to NPR, what apparently had the senator most “disturbed” were comments made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, during which McConnell announced that his team would be “working through this process, hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office.”
“And in fairness, when I heard that I was disturbed,” Murkowski told KTUU, suggesting instead that all senators should be impartial in the coming trial.
Murkowski added: “To me, it means that 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 happened to think that that has further confused the process.”
Criticizes rushed impeachment
While the liberal media chose to focus solely on Murkowski’s apparent criticism of McConnell, however, the senator also had some choice words for House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who she believes rushed the impeachment process and cut corners, only to now expect the Senate to fill in the gaps and interview witnesses House Democrats failed to call during the hurried and incomplete investigation.
“Speaker Pelosi was very clear, very direct that her goal was to get this done before Christmas,” Murkowski said.
She went on to reference uncalled witnesses such as White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former National Security Adviser John Bolton, saying: “If the House truly believe that they have information that was going to be important, they subpoena them and if they ignore the subpoena — as they did, at the direction of the White House — then that next step is to go to the courts.”
Keeping an open mind
The senator also spoke of the “uncertainty” surrounding the whole impeachment case and said she considered herself to still be undecided as to how she would vote in a trial. “For me to prejudge and say there’s nothing there or, on the other hand, he should be impeached yesterday, that’s wrong. In my view, that’s wrong,” she said.
She also appeared to embrace the notion that she remains independent and open-minded about the whole thing, saying, according to NPR: “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’m totally good with that.”
Sen. Murkowski also called for a “full and fair process” in an impeachment trial, to be modeled after the trial held for impeached President Bill Clinton. Interestingly, it is the Clinton trial rules that McConnell has offered to Democrats as a framework for a Trump trial, only for Democrats to continue sitting on the articles of impeachment as part of an attempt to gain leverage while delaying the process.
To be clear, the senator from Alaska has never been a fan of President Trump and, as she has already stated, could very well vote to convict him in an impeachment trial. That said, she was also quite critical of the manner in which Democrats have handled the impeachment of Trump and — despite her antipathy toward the president — may deem the evidence against him insufficient and decide to vote for acquittal.