SEVERE WX : Special Weather Statement View Alerts

Moderate GOP senator 'disturbed' by McConnell's coordination with White House

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she is "disturbed" by coordination between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the White House over an upcoming Senate impeachment trial.

Posted: Dec 25, 2019 2:30 PM
Updated: Dec 25, 2019 2:30 PM

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she is "disturbed" by coordination between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the White House over the upcoming Senate impeachment trial.

Senate leaders have yet to reach an agreement on the rules of the trial, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not sent the Senate the impeachment articles necessary to begin the proceedings. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for the Senate to pursue witnesses and documents, which McConnell opposes, leading to a holiday impasse and uncertainty as to when the trial will begin.

But Murkowski said McConnell had "confused the process" by saying he was acting in "total coordination" with the White House on setting the parameters for the trial.

"And in fairness, when I heard that, I was disturbed," Murkowski told KTUU, a CNN affiliate.

"To me, it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense, and so I heard what Leader McConnell had said, I happened to think that that has further confused the process," she went on.

Murkowski's comments are notable because in the wake of House Republicans' unanimous vote last week to oppose the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Senate Republicans have given no public indication that there is any dissent among their ranks. As a moderate, Murkowski, who opposed Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, will be closely watched during the upcoming trial, and she told KTUU she is undecided as to how she'll vote.

Republicans sources told CNN that McConnell is open to going to the Senate floor without support from the Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer on a rule to conduct the impeachment trial. McConnell would need the support of 51 GOP senators to approve such a rule -- support that Republicans believe he would be able to lock down.

McConnell's preference is to cut a bipartisan deal with Schumer, like the one that was reached during the Clinton trial, and there is an expectation that the two men will still try to discuss a bipartisan way forward as the Senate gets back into session in January, GOP sources said.

But if they can't reach a deal, McConnell almost certainly would go to the floor to set the procedures for the trial. Republicans say they want the articles transmitted first from the House to the Senate to begin that process.

In her interview with KTUU, Murkowski also criticized the House impeachment process as rushed and incomplete.

"Speaker Pelosi was very clear, very direct that her goal was to get this done before Christmas," Murkowski said.

"If the House truly believe that they had information that was going to be important, they subpoena them, and if they ignore the subpoena as they did at the direction of the White House, then that next step is to go to the courts," she added.

Murkowski said she was looking for a "full and fair process" that uses the Clinton impeachment as a model. She added that she's undecided as to how she'll vote on whether to remove Trump from office, saying it would be "wrong" of her to make up her mind before the trial begins.

"For me to prejudge and say there's nothing there or on the other hand, he should be impeached yesterday, that's wrong, in my view. That's wrong," she said.

Schumer on Monday ramped up his push for the Senate to pursue witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial after newly released emails raised questions about how aid to Ukraine was formally frozen on the same day of Trump's July call with the Eastern European country's leader.

Schumer sent a letter to all senators on Monday detailing specific documents he wants produced for the Senate trial, where Schumer and Democrats are pushing for witnesses that McConnell has resisted in the early negotiations over the parameters of the trial.

McConnell has argued that it's too soon for the Senate to consider calling witnesses, saying they should pass a resolution similar to the one unanimously passed to establish the parameters for President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial, which did not address the question of witnesses.

The Senate majority leader drew criticism from Democrats earlier this month when he told Fox News "there will be no difference between the President's position and our position in how to handle this," and he brushed off the Democrats' complaints on Monday in a separate interview with the network.

"Do you think Chuck Schumer is impartial? Do you think Elizabeth Warren is impartial? Bernie Sanders is impartial?" McConnell asked rhetorically.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604052

Reported Deaths: 7616
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1248161773
Ramsey52466895
Dakota46797470
Anoka42724458
Washington27406291
Stearns22552224
St. Louis18134312
Scott17544135
Wright16405148
Olmsted13390102
Sherburne1200195
Carver1066148
Clay825692
Rice8187110
Blue Earth762443
Crow Wing681494
Kandiyohi667585
Chisago619652
Otter Tail585684
Benton582998
Goodhue483474
Douglas475381
Mower470733
Winona461151
Itasca459263
Isanti439964
McLeod430161
Morrison424362
Nobles407950
Beltrami407561
Steele397616
Polk389072
Becker386555
Lyon363853
Carlton352756
Freeborn346932
Pine335023
Nicollet331045
Mille Lacs311454
Brown307840
Le Sueur297225
Cass286032
Todd285632
Meeker263142
Waseca238023
Martin235032
Roseau211021
Wabasha20783
Hubbard196241
Dodge18773
Renville182446
Redwood176338
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena162823
Fillmore157410
Faribault154319
Chippewa153938
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138737
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122612
Pipestone116626
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11296
Murray107010
Swift106918
Koochiching95117
Stevens92411
Clearwater89116
Marshall88817
Lake83120
Wilkin83112
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5938
Lincoln5843
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48093
Red Lake4017
Traverse3765
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 370840

Reported Deaths: 6048
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58221639
Linn21202339
Scott20303247
Black Hawk16106312
Woodbury15237230
Johnson1461485
Dubuque13505211
Dallas1128899
Pottawattamie11219174
Story1071148
Warren583791
Clinton561493
Cerro Gordo553693
Sioux516974
Webster515194
Muscatine4878106
Marshall486576
Des Moines467271
Wapello4337122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper420972
Plymouth402881
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300857
Henry294237
Bremer288161
Carroll286752
Boone268434
Crawford268240
Benton259655
Washington256951
Dickinson249444
Mahaska232352
Jackson225242
Clay216627
Kossuth216166
Tama211871
Delaware210943
Winneshiek198135
Page194522
Buchanan193433
Cedar192223
Hardin187544
Fayette186543
Wright185840
Hamilton181851
Harrison180073
Clayton171057
Butler166135
Madison164619
Mills163724
Floyd163242
Cherokee159438
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152752
Hancock150234
Iowa149824
Winnebago144431
Cass139155
Calhoun138913
Grundy137133
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131537
Sac130920
Union129935
Louisa129649
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124717
Franklin123323
Guthrie123132
Humboldt119526
Palo Alto113523
Howard104922
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96432
Monroe96230
Unassigned9540
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7598
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Ringgold56324
Van Buren56318
Wayne54423
Audubon53511
Adams3444
Rochester
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 91°
Mason City
Clear
98° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 96°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
91° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 94°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
93° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 95°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
91° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 94°
Strong thunderstorms possible on Thursday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events