Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced Friday she will vote no to hearing from witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, effectively putting the kibosh on the Democrat’s plan to drag out the proceedings by bringing in new witnesses who were not previously deposed.
“I worked for a fair, honest and transparent process, modeled after the Clinton trial, to provide ample time for both sides to present their cases, ask thoughtful questions, and determine whether we need more,” Murkowski said in a statement. “The House chose to send articles of impeachment that are rushed and flawed. 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.”
“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. 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,” she added.
“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,” the senator from Alaska concluded.
The only two Republicans expected to vote in favor of hearing from witnesses are Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, meaning Democrats will have only 49 votes. Republicans have a 53 seat majority in the 100-member Senate.
Murkowski’s no vote spares Chief Justice John Roberts from having to cast a tie-breaking vote.
— CNBC (@CNBC) January 31, 2020
The Senate voted 51-49 Friday afternoon to defeat the motion to allow subpoenas for witnesses and documents. Two Republican Senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah, joined Democrats to back extending the trial.
The vote to acquit the President is expected to take place next week after President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Undecided Democrat senators on the vote for conviction include Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.