Murkowski wants senators to 'really hear the case' before deciding on impeachment witnesses

Murkowski wants senators to 'really hear the case' before deciding on impeachment witnesses
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump budget includes proposal for US Consulate in Greenland Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (R-Alaska) said Saturday that she wants to hear from House impeachment managers and attorneys for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE before deciding whether the Senate impeachment trial needs additional witnesses and documents. 

The moderate senator told reporters that she came to this conclusion because she'd like to "really hear the case" before making a "determination as to, what more do we need," The Associated Press reported.

"I don’t know what more we need until I’ve been given the base case," Murkowski said, adding that she expected Senate Majority Leader (R-Ky.) to table any attempt from Democrats to add certain witnesses to an organizing resolution. 

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She indicated that she'd support tabling the Democrats' request, saying that she's "worked hard" to make sure the process allows for "determination" on whether additional witnesses or documents are necessary for the trial. 

“But I want to have that at a point where I know whether or not I’m going to need it," she said, according to the AP. "[My responsibility is] not to focus on the politics of where we are but a recognition that we are in the midst of an infrequent and in many ways extraordinary process that the Constitution allows for, and I’m going to take my constitutional obligations very, very seriously.”

The House voted to impeach Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December, making him just the third president in U.S. history to face Senate removal. 

Democrats in the House and Senate have repeatedly pushed McConnell to ensure that additional witnesses can testify in the impeachment trial, which follows a House inquiry focused on allegations of Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

McConnell has been against the idea, but some Republicans have expresses an openness to hearing additional witnesses at the trial. 

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCollins: Trump pick doesn't have experience to serve as director of national intelligence Bill Barr is trying his best to be Trump's Roy Cohn The new American center MORE (R-Maine) said Friday that she'd "likely vote" in favor of new evidence and witnesses, but that she first wanted to hear both sides present their case.