Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced on Monday that she will not put her country first in the looming Senate vote on whether to convict Donald Trump for impeachable conduct related to his Ukraine extortion scheme.
In a speech delivered from the Senate floor, the Alaska senator said, “I cannot vote to convict. The Constitution provides for impeachment but does not demand it in all instances.”
“The president’s behavior was shameful and wrong,” she added. “His personal interests do not take precedence over those of this great nation.”
Still, Murkowski said she will not vote to convict Trump, comparing removal from the White House to the “death penalty” and adding, “The voters will produce a verdict in nine months, and we must trust their judgement.”
Of course, Murkowski’s suggestion that voters – not Senators – produce a verdict in impeachment trials is ludicrous. It’s essentially a way for Republican lawmakers like her to avoid having to take a consequential vote.
The Alaska lawmaker’s announcement comes after she admitted that she agreed with Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander’s assessment that Trump’s behavior with respect to Ukraine was inappropriate.
Despite that conclusion, Murkowski has decided to join other Trump defenders in the Senate by voting to acquit, even though she and others are essentially admitting that House impeachment managers have proven their case.
The Republican Party is dead
In the Trump era of American politics, the list of Republican lawmakers with any shred of dignity left has always been short, but Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has often tried to be on it.
With her vote to acquit Donald Trump – even though she is basically admitting he is guilty – she is no longer on that list.
The Republican Party has been on life support for years. Lisa Murkowski’s decision to join the Lindsey Grahams of the Senate and let Donald Trump skate shows that the GOP is officially dead, and it’s not coming back anytime soon.
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Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.