Senator Lisa Murkowski says she won’t “prejudge” an impeachment trial but admitted she already has a problem with Sen. Mitch McConnell.
The Alaska Republican told NBC affiliate KTUU that she was “disturbed” by the Majority Leader’s promise to be “in total coordination” with the White House counsel’s office in the event there is a Senate trial on President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Murkowski did express criticism over the rushed and flawed process undertaken in the House of Representatives which, in a nearly party-line vote, charged Trump with obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
“Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi was very clear, very direct that her goal was to get this done before Christmas,” the senator said.
Pelosi has been sitting on the articles of impeachment since the vote by the House on Dec. 19. She has come under fire for her efforts to manipulate the process by not sending the articles to the Senate as expected in an attempt to affect how the trial will be conducted. She challenged the Senate and the White House earlier this week as she insisted the House could not move forward “until we know what sort of trial the Senate will conduct.”
McConnell’s vow to coordinate with the White House on impeachment strategy sent Democrats and their liberal minions into a meltdown.
Dems, media cohorts meltdown over McConnell’s declaration he’ll work with WH counsel on impeachment https://t.co/2KEf6JwdmI
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 14, 2019
“Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House Counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can,” McConnell said on Fox News’ “Hannity,” discussing the strategy for a Senate impeachment trial.
“We know how it’s going to end,” McConnell said. “There’s no chance the president is going to be removed from office.”
Murkowski expressed her concern over her GOP colleague’s remarks.
“And in fairness, when I heard that, I was disturbed,” she told KTUU.
“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,” she added.
She noted that if the House had issues with witnesses who refused to appear during proceedings, lawmakers should have gone to the courts.
“If the House truly believes that they had 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,” she said.
The GOP moderate, who was opposed to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court last year, aligned with her Republican candidates in their unanimous vote against the articles of impeachment. She explained that she is looking for a “full and fair process” in the Senate which uses the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton as a model and that she would not make up her mind on how she votes before the trial begins.
“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.
McConnell dismissed accusations of bias in his remarks on coordinating with the White House earlier this month.
“Do you think Chuck Schumer is impartial? Do you think Elizabeth Warren is impartial? Bernie Sanders is impartial?” he asked during an interview with Fox News.
The Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-controlled House are in recess for the holidays and are expected to return to Capitol Hill in January 2020.
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