If I were a betting man, I would have put big money on Senator Lisa Murkowski voting against acquittal in the Senate trial of Donald Trump. She’s a moderate Republican who has always been considered one of the most likely to defect and join Democrats in their partisan impeachment. But, it appears that the Democrats massively overplayed their hand, for she rebuked the Democrats for rushing through the process in the House, and blasted the Senate for what she called “rank partisanship.”
According to a report from Axios, Murkowski said a vote to remove the president would “disenfranchise nearly 63 million Americans” who voted for Trump. “The constitution provides for impeachment, but not demand it in all instances,” she added. “The House could have pursued censure and not immediately jumped to the last resort.”
Murkowski still criticized President Trump for behavior she called “shameful and wrong.”
“The president has the responsibility to uphold the integrity and the honor of the office […] Degrading the office by actions, or even namecalling, weakens it for future presidents, and it weakens our country.”
This speaks a lot to just how badly Democrats screwed up impeachment by being overzealous and hyperpartisan. I’m sure other moderate Republicans will follow suit, perhaps all of them. Reports suggest that the vote to acquit might be bipartisan as well. Joe Manchin, the moderate Democrat from Virginia, has also slammed impeachment and suggested censure would be a more appropriate response.
Looks like Democrats really screwed this one up.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis