GOP Senator Is 'Disturbed' by Leader's Trump Trial Remarks

Murkowski says she will be impartial juror
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2019 4:16 AM CST
GOP Senator Is 'Disturbed' by Leader's Trump Trial Remarks
Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks to reporters after delivering a speech to a joint session of the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Juneau, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski thinks the process that led to the impeachment of President Trump was rushed and flawed—but she also has serious concerns about how his trial in the Senate will be conducted. The Alaskan senator tells KTUU that she was "disturbed" by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's vow that there would be "total cooperation" with the White House over the trial. She says she takes her role as one of 100 impeachment jurors seriously and believes there should be some distance between the White House and the Senate. "To me it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense," she says. McConnell's remarks about taking his cues from the White House, she says, have "confused the process."

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois also complained recently that lawmakers from both parties are ignoring their constitutional obligation to be impartial, Politico reports. Murkowski, seen as one of three potential GOP swing votes in the Senate, says she will try to be impartial because it would be wrong to "prejudge and say there’s nothing there," though jumping to conclusions about Trump's guilt would also be wrong, reports the Washington Post. Murkowski says she has no problem with being considered a possible swing vote. "If it means that I am viewed as one who looks openly and critically at every issue in front of me rather than acting as a rubber stamp for my party or my president, I'm totally good with that," she says. "I am totally, totally good with that." (More Trump impeachment stories.)

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