Murkowski 'curious' to hear what Bolton has to say

Murkowski 'curious' to hear what Bolton has to say
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiAnti-Trump Republicans endorsing vulnerable Democrats to prevent GOP takeover GOP rallies around Manchin, Sinema McConnell gets GOP wake-up call MORE (R-Alaska) says she is "curious" to know what former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonWe've left Afghanistan — but its consequences are just starting to arrive It's time to pull the plug on our toxic relationship with Pakistan Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod MORE might have to say about President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE’s relations with Ukraine but stopped short of saying if she would support calling him to testify in the impeachment trial. 

"Well I read it. I've said before I was curious what Ambassador Bolton might have to say and I'm still curious," Murkowski said Monday when asked by The Hill about her reaction to a New York Times story about Bolton's forthcoming memoir. 

The Times reported on Sunday night that Bolton claims in the book that Trump tied Ukraine aid to its help with investigations into Democrats including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Two House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging midterms MORE and his son Hunter Biden.

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“I stated before that I was curious as to what John Bolton might have to say. From the outset, I’ve worked to ensure this trial would be fair and that members would have the opportunity to weigh in after its initial phase to determine if we need more information,” Murkowski said in a tweet Monday shortly after noon, adding that she would make her decision soon.

Two other moderate Republicans — Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenators ask Biden administration to fund program that helps people pay heating bills McConnell gets GOP wake-up call Republicans are today's Dixiecrats MORE (Maine) — indicated Monday that the Bolton news increases the chances they will support calling witnesses before the chamber, a key point of contention as Trump’s trial enters its second week.

Every Republican voted against subpoenaing Bolton as part of a rules resolution that passed the chamber last week, delaying the decision until mid-trial. 

GOP senators indicated that they expect the witness vote will happen on Friday. 

Democrats will need four Republicans to vote with them in order to pave the way for witnesses. After that, both sides could make motions for specific individuals, and the Senate would vote on those requests.  

Romney told reporters that he thought it was "increasingly likely" that additional GOP senators will support calling Bolton, while Collins said in a statement that "the reports about John Bolton's book strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues."

Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate MORE (R-Tenn.), another potential swing vote, on Monday said he is also sticking to his plan of waiting until after both sides have had a chance to present opening arguments and senators have asked questions before deciding on witnesses.

"I worked with my colleagues to make sure we have a chance after we've heard the arguments, after we've asked our questions to decide if we need additional evidence and I'll decide that at that time," he said.