BREAKING: Murkowski Will Vote Against Witnesses, Issues Statement

After intense speculation on how she would vote, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska will vote against witnesses, leaving Democrats with most likely only 49 votes in favor of their motion for additional evidence, that is expected to fail.

Murkowski has issued the following statement via Twitter.

(1/5) 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.

(2/5) 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.

(3/5) 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.

(4/5) It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.

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.

(5/5) I will not stand for nor support that effort. We have already degraded our 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.

Even before Murkowski made her final decision, key swing Senator vote Lamar Alexander announced he would vote against witnesses Thursday evening, leaving Democrats in a scenario where they had thought they might end up with a 50/50 tie if they had Murkowski join Mitt Romney and Susan Collins in favor for witnesses.

While a long shot, some Democrats held out some hope that Justice Roberts would break the tie. That dream is now dead as the motion is destined to fail. 

Newsmax reports Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski will vote against a motion allowing witnesses to testify in the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, appearing to doom a bid by Democrats to have testimony in the trial and paving the way for an expected acquittal of Trump.

Murkowski said she carefully considered the need for witnesses and documents to be used in the trial that will determine whether Trump is removed from office, but ultimately decided against it. Democrats, who earlier in the day sounded resigned to defeat in their bid to call witnesses, would need four Republicans to join them to win a vote for witnesses.

“Tonight, all signs point to a rushed acquittal of an impeached president,” Patty Murray, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, told reporters.

The Senate resumed the proceedings with the House of Representatives Democrats serving as prosecutors making a final pitch for witnesses. The Senate was due later on Friday to vote on the witness issue.

The timing of a final vote on whether to convict Trump was unclear. Republican senators had said it could take place late on Friday or on Saturday. But some senators said the final vote may be put off until next week, perhaps until Wednesday.

A second Republican senator – Mitt Romney – declared support on Friday for calling witnesses such as John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser.

Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and sometime critic of Trump, joined fellow moderate Susan Collins as the only ones among the 53 Republican senators in the 100-seat chamber to support voting for witnesses.