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

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRepublicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment GOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff Paul predicts no Republicans will vote to convict Trump MORE (R-Alaska) said she does not agree with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment 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 GrahamSenate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Democratic group plans mobile billboard targeting Collins on impeachment Paul predicts no Republicans will vote to convict Trump 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 TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE in a largely party-line vote. The articles are stalled, with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment Trump chooses high-profile but controversial legal team Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders 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.