While President Donald Trump and his allies await two articles of impeachment passed against him by the House of Representatives to reach the Senate for a trial, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski expressed some level of concern with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s insistence that he’ll be coordinating with the White House throughout the process.
According to The Hill, Murkowski, during an interview with an NBC affiliate, emphasized that senators during an impeachment trial are supposed to remain impartial, which is something McConnell has made clear he has no intention of doing.
“When I heard that I was disturbed,” Murkowski said on Tuesday.
“To me, it means we have to take that step back from being hand-in-glove with the defense. And so I heard what Leader McConnell had said, I happen to think that that has further confused the process,” she added.
Murkowski is part of a small group of three Republican senators who have the highest likelihood of breaking with the president and voting to convict him, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Alexander Bolton, a reporter for The Hill, pointed out recently that along with Murkowski, Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Mitt Romney — both of whom have made clear that they’re not in lock step with Trump on many issues — could be valuable defectors for Democrats come trial time.
However, in order to convict and remove the president from office, the Senate would need to pass the measure by a two-thirds vote, which means that many more Republicans would have to make a surprise and unprecedented decision to turn on Trump.
While Murkowski hasn’t said anything that indicated she’s leaning one way or another, she focused on what will be her sworn oath to remain impartial during the process and took a subtle jab at senators on both sides of the political aisle for coming to a conclusion before a trial even begins.
“For me to prejudge and say there’s nothing there, or on the other hand, ‘he should be impeached yesterday,’ that’s wrong. In my view, that’s wrong,” she said.
The Alaskan senator also made clear that she’s not worried about facing any criticism from either party for doing her job.
“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,” she said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made headlines after the House passed two articles of impeachment against Trump earlier this month by announcing that she’s waiting to transfer the process over to the Senate for the final phase, citing a lack of perceived fairness on the part of Republicans in the Senate.
There’s still no solid timeline of when she might release the articles to the upper chamber, though it won’t be anytime in the near future as both chambers of Congress remain on holiday recess.