Updated Feb 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Murkowski rebukes Trump, Senate, but says she will vote to acquit

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a speech on the Senate floor Monday that she "cannot vote to convict" President Trump, but condemned his actions toward Ukraine as "shameful and wrong."

Why it matters: The moderate senator was thought to be among the likeliest of the Republicans to vote to convict Trump. During her speech Monday, which followed the conclusion of closing arguments in the impeachment trial, Murkowski also tore into the House for rushing through the process and the Senate for what she called "rank partisanship."

The Congress, as an institution, has failed."
— Lisa Murkowski

What she's saying: A vote to remove the president would "disenfranchise nearly 63 million Americans" who voted for Trump, Murkowski said. "The constitution provides for impeachment, but does not demand it in all instances," she added.

  • "The House could have pursued censure and not immediately jumped to the remedy of last resort," Murkowski continued. "The voters will pronounce a verdict in nine months, and we must trust their judgment.”

Yes, but: The Alaska Senator also said that "the president's behavior was shameful and wrong."

  • "His personal interests do not take precedence over those of this great nation," Murkowski said.
  • "The president has the responsibility to uphold the integrity and the honor of the office. ... Degrading the office by actions, or even name-calling, weakens it for future presidents, and it weakens our country."

Of note: Murkowski said her vote last week against summoning witnesses to the trial was to avoid splitting the Senate 50-50, which could have resulted in Supreme Court Justice John Roberts having to break the tie.

Go deeper ... Trump impeachment trial recap, day 11: Closing arguments conclude

Go deeper

Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter, round two

President Trump is escalating his response to Twitter’s fact check of his recent tweets about mail-in voting, issuing an executive order that's designed to begin limiting social media's liability protections. Dan digs in with Axios' Margaret Harding McGill.

Go deeper: Twitter vs. Trump... vs. Twitter

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 5,731,837 — Total deaths: 356,606 — Total recoveries — 2,376,542Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 1,703,989 — Total deaths: 100,651 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  4. Business: U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter — 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
  5. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  6. ⚽️ Sports: English Premier League set to return June 17.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy