Murkowski 'disturbed' by McConnell's pledge for 'total coordination' with White House on impeachment

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump backs another T stimulus, urges governors to reopen schools MORE (R-Alaska) said she does not agree with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell in talks with Mnuchin on next phase of coronavirus relief Pelosi: 'We shouldn't even be thinking' about reopening schools without federal aid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - All eyes on Florida as daily COVID-19 cases hit 15K MORE’s (R-Ky.) comments that he will work in “total coordination” with the White House during the looming impeachment trial. 

“When I heard that I was disturbed,” Murkowski told KTUU, an NBC affiliate, in an interview that aired Tuesday. 

McConnell has been criticized for his comments by Democrats, given that senators take an oath to be impartial jurors during the trial. 

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“To me,” Murkowski continued, speaking of the Senate’s constitutional responsibility in the process, “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.” 

Murkowski, a more moderate Republican, is seen as one of a few GOP senators who could break from the party on a vote to remove Trump from office, though the president is widely expected to be acquitted given the Republican control of the chamber. 

Unlike some of her colleagues, such as Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - All eyes on Florida as daily COVID-19 cases hit 15K Democrats see immigration reform as topping Biden agenda Graham says he will call Mueller to testify before Senate panel about Russia probe MORE (R-S.C.) who said he is ready to vote and doesn’t need to hear any witnesses, Murkowski said she won’t “prejudge” the situation before the process continues. 

“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. 

“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,” Murkowski added. “I am totally, totally good with that.”

The House voted earlier this month in favor of two articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities MORE in a largely party-line vote. The articles are stalled, with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi70 progressive groups call for next Foreign Affairs chair to reflect 'progressive realism' House to vote next week on ridding Capitol of Confederate statues Eye on gavel, Wasserman Schultz proposes panel on racial inequality in spending MORE (D-Calif.) yet to send them to the Senate as leaders of the upper chamber agree on a Senate trial process. 

McConnell signaled on Monday the talks about a trial are in limbo until senators return to Washington in a couple of weeks.