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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.