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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 senator defends Cheney, Murkowski after Trump rebuke Trump promises to travel to Alaska to campaign against Murkowski GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill MORE (R-Alaska) says she is "curious" to know what former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump offered North Korea's Kim a ride home on Air Force One: report Key impeachment figure Pence sticks to sidelines Bolton lawyer: Trump impeachment trial is constitutional MORE might have to say about President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump 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 BidenLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Fauci predicts high schoolers will receive coronavirus vaccinations this fall Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump 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 RomneyGraham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Democratic centrists flex power on Biden legislation Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many MORE (Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Murkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy 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 AlexanderLamar AlexanderCongress addressed surprise medical bills, but the issue is not resolved Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes 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.