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

Lisa Murkowski won't vote for witnesses in Trump impeachment trial

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced Friday that she will vote against having additional witnesses testify during President Trump's impeachment trial, saying she doesn't "believe the continuation of the process will change anything."

Where it stands: Murkowski's vote likely closes the door on any additional witnesses during the trial. If four Republicans don't side with the Democrats on witnesses, the proceedings could end as soon as tonight.

Trump headed for fast acquittal

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) walks through the Capitol. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump is poised to win his long-expected acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial as soon as tonight, after Sen. Lamar Alexander's dramatic 11th-hour announcement that he'll vote against calling new witnesses.

The state of play: The big question is no longer whether the Senate will sink this afternoon's witness vote, but rather how long it will take to deliver a final verdict on Trump after the vote fails.

Trump impeachment debate recap: Senators speak ahead of final vote

Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Senators spent Tuesday debating the articles of impeachment against President Trump ahead of the trial's resumption on Wednesday, when the chamber is expected to vote to acquit.

The big picture: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in condemning Trump's conduct toward Ukraine as "inappropriate," but ultimately said she would vote to acquit. Sen. Mitt Romney, who along with Collins was one of two Republicans to vote in favor of witnesses, is the Democrats' last chance for a bipartisan conviction vote.