Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a key swing vote when it comes to the impeachment process set to begin in the Senate next month, voiced her concerns this week about Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) promise to work in “total coordination” with the White House.
“When I heard that I was disturbed,” Murkowski told the local NBC News affiliate in Anchorage in an interview posted Tuesday. She said that the impeachment process “means that we have to take that step back from the being hand-in-glove with the defense.”
“So I heard what Leader McConnell had said, I happen to think that that has further confused the process,” she said.
Murkowksi also had harsh words for the House, for moving forward with impeaching President Trump for his Ukraine pressure campaign without securing certain witness’ testimony — by court order if necessary. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is now calling on the Senate to bring in for testimony White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former National Security Advisor John Bolton, among others.
“If the House truly believed that they had information that was going to be important, they subpoena them, and if they ignore the subpoena, as they did at the direction of the White House, then that next step is to go to the court,” Murkowski said.
Nonetheless, Murkowksi said it would be “wrong” for her to prejudge the impeachment case, and seemed prepared to weather criticism from President Trump or his allies for her willingness to break with her party if need be.
“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 am totally good with that,” Murkowksi said.