Murkowski 'curious' to hear what Bolton has to say

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

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP senators urge Saudi Arabia to leave OPEC Schumer: Senate should 'explore' remote voting if coronavirus sparks lengthy break Turning the virus into a virtue — for the planet MORE (R-Alaska) says she is "curious" to know what former national security adviser John BoltonJohn Bolton Trump ignores science at our peril Bolton defends decision to shutter NSC pandemic office US retaliates with missile strikes in Iraq MORE might have to say about President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House 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 BidenCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus response 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 RomneyGranting cash payments is a conservative principle 7 things to know about the coronavirus stimulus package Scarborough rips Trump for mocking Romney's negative coronavirus test: 'Could have been a death sentence' MORE (Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus Senate eyes quick exit after vote on coronavirus stimulus package 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.

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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 AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSticking points force stimulus package talks to spill into Sunday GOP drafting stimulus package without deal with Democrats Senate coronavirus stimulus talks spill into Saturday 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.