Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a woman known for her easily riled independence and from a functionally libertarian state, has said she was ‘offended’ when Dem impeachment manager Jerry Nalder said the Senate would be engaging in a ‘cover up’ if they didn’t vote with the Dems on witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial.
They didn’t and Murkowski hit back.
“I took it as offensive,” she told the press on Wednesday. “As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended.”
Now, she could have sucked it up and kept her problem to herself.
But the fact that she chose speak out was a signal as to where her leanings lie on the entire deal. That would quash the Dem plan to bring four Republican Senators (Alexander, Murkowski, Romney, and Collins are most often mentioned) over to their aisle on procedural votes and then on convicting the president.
Alexander of Tennessee is not running for reelection this year and thus he’d pay no political price for voting with the Dems.
But he probably wants to retire to an ambassadorship or another such bauble when he leaves the Senate.
Ticking off a president who is likely to be reelected forestalls that anytime soon.
Murkowski is more moderate than the rest of the Republican caucus. But she is holding firm for now.
Then there’s Mittens.
His record with Donald Trump is well known. Romney has called the president some very untoward things and has commented negatively on everything from the president’s politics to his personal character.
But this former governor and son of a governor likes the status of office and conservative Utah may not readily forgive his apostasy on the Trump verdict. Smart money says he’s reluctantly safe.
Collins of Maine is the only one of the group who has defected. On one procedural vote, she went south on the GOP. The party won anyway.
So she’s let very purple Maine know she doesn’t have blinders on. But she held fast on Kavanaugh while under tremendous leftist pressure. She’ll hold here when it counts.
The Dems wrap up today and the GOP takes over tomorrow as the trial marches on.