Murkowski Votes Against Impeachment Witnesses, Puts Trump on Path to Acquittal
Senator notes the 'partisan nature of this impeachment'
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has come out against calling additional witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, putting the President on the path to acquittal.
Murkowski, R-Alaska, a key moderate senator, stated:
“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 said.
"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.”
The news comes after Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced he would not support additional witnesses in Trump's "shallow, hurried and wholly partisan” trial.
"If this shallow, hurried, and wholly partisan impeachment were to succeed, it would rip the country apart, pouring gasoline on the fire of cultural divisions that already exist," Sen. Alexander said in a statement.
Currently, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah are the only GOP senators to signal support for witnesses.
Presuming no other Republicans defect and Democrats vote as a bloc, this would leave the pro-witness side with just 49 votes.
Proceedings could drag on through Friday night and into the weekend.
Murkowski issued her statement just as to what could be the final day of proceedings.
She stated she "carefully considered" the question of allowing witnesses and documents in the trial, adding "but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena."
She also seemingly took a veiled jab at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for a day earlier applying not-so-subtle pressure on Chief Justice John Roberts to side with those seeking witnesses.
Warren gave Roberts a question on Thursday that asked if refusing to allow witnesses would “contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?"
Murkowski said in her statement:
“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. 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."
“We are sadly at a low point of division in this country,” Murkowski said.
Trump is accused of withholding aid to Ukraine in order to push an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his family.
But Trump has denied this by repeatedly urging people to read the transcripts.
On Thursday, Viktor Shokin, the fired Ukraine prosecutor who was forced out of his job due to pressure from Joe Biden, filed a federal complaint against the former vice president, demanding a full investigation into allegations of bribery.
After he left office in 2017, Biden publically boasted about forcing the Ukrainian government to fire its top prosecutor while he was vice president and overseeing foreign interests in Ukraine.
During a meeting with foreign policy specialists, Biden made the remarks in which he bragged that he withheld U.S. aid from Ukraine to strong-arm them to fire Shokin.