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Murkowski breaks ranks to advance controversial Biden nominee

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiWhite House briefed on bipartisan infrastructure deal but says questions remain Bipartisan Senate group announces infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden mission abroad: reward friends, constrain adversaries MORE (Alaska) broke Republican ranks on Wednesday to advance the nomination of Vanita Gupta for associate attorney general.

 
Murkowski joined all Democratic senators in voting to advance Gupta’s nomination 51-49 toward a final vote, which is expected to take place later Wednesday.
 
Murkowski said on the Senate floor that after an “extensive” sit-down with Gupta, she was impressed by her professional credentials and her level of experience as well as the “passion that she carries with her with the work that she performs.”
 
Murkowski said that although Gupta has made some “troubling and concerning” statements in other areas, she was “going to give the benefit of the doubt to a woman who I believe has demonstrated through her professional career to be deeply, deeply committed to matters of justice.”
 
“And so I will be casting my vote in support of her in about an hour here,” Murkowski concluded.
 
Murkowski is no stranger to breaking Republican ranks. In February, the three-term senator voted in favor of convicting former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. He was ultimately acquitted.
 
In response to Murkowski's vote against Trump, the Alaska GOP passed a resolution censuring her for that vote as well as others that angered state Republicans.
 
The state party also vowed to recruit a primary challenger for Murkowski, who is up for reelection in 2022.