Lisa Murkowski’s a ‘no’ vote on witnesses

Lisa Murkowski's a 'no' vote on witnesses


WASHINGTON – Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, announced Friday she will not vote to call witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, virtually assuring that Democrats won’t have the 51 votes needed to hear from former national security adviser John Bolton or others.

Murkowski criticized the House’s investigation as “rushed and flawed” and said the proceedings were not fixable.

“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,” Murkowski said in a statement. “I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything.”

Murkowski was the last of a handful of Republicans who had expressed a potential openness to witnesses.

That likely sets up a 51-49 split in the closely divided chamber against considering additional evidence. Democrats need four Republicans to side with them to continue the trial.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, walks in the basement of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, while leaving at the end of a session in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) ORG XMIT: DCJC150

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If Murkowski had gone the other way, that could have resulted in a 50-50 tie that would’ve raised the difficult question of whether Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial, could or would break the tie.

The Alaska senator indicated she had Roberts on her mind, saying in her statement that she would “not stand for support” efforts to “drag the Supreme Court into the fray.”


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