Anyone hoping that a good night’s sleep or fresh revelations from John Bolton’s book would convince Lisa Murkowski to vote to allow testimony and documents in Trump’s impeachment trial faced bitter disappointment when the Alaskan — the last Republican “swing senator” to announce her position on the most crucial moment of the trial — called for shutting it all down. Her statement differed from that of Lamar Alexander last night in that she neither admitted Trump’s misconduct nor deemed it unworthy of impeachment. Her statement just adjudged the whole process as too flawed to continue:
I worked for a fair, honest, and transparent process, modeled after the Clinton trial, to provide ample time for both sides to present their cases, ask thoughtful questions, and determine whether we need more.
The House chose to send articles of impeachment that are rushed and flawed. I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena.
Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.
Having joined with Alexander in a question last night that seemed to assert that no additional evidence could possibly show impeachable conduct, this willful choice to see and hear no evil was curious, but slammed the door on witnesses just as effectively as a more logical statement. She did make an additional comment that appears to confirm earlier reporting that she and Alexander agreed to take the same position to avoid a 50-50 vote that might put John Roberts on the spot:
It has also become clear some of my colleagues intend to further politicize this process, and drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the Chief Justice. I will not stand for nor support that effort. We have already degraded this institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another.
We are sadly at a low point of division in this country.
I’m sure Roberts appreciates it.
Unless some real shocker transpires, the vote to hear witnesses and admit new evidence will fail on a 49-51 vote, and the endgame of the trial will begin. That is the subject of today’s remaining intrigue.