Murkowski to Vote No on Witnesses, Giving Republicans Leverage for Swift Acquittal

Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Zuma

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced Friday that she would vote no on a motion to hear witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, likely giving Republicans enough votes to block testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton and move toward a swift acquittal of the president.

The 47-person Democratic caucus would need four Republican votes to approve the motion to hear witness. Murkowski was one of the few Republican senators—along with Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Susan Collins (R-Maine)—who expressed a willingness this week to defy Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and consider voting with Democrats. Last night, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), another holdout, announced that he would vote against hearing witnesses, leaving Democrats little hope of garnering enough support to compel witness testimony.

Democrats’ calls for witnesses have intensified as Bolton has made a series of claims in the draft of his new book suggesting that Trump involved him in a pressure campaign that directly tied military aid to Ukraine to that country’s investigations of the Bidens. Without witnesses, the vote to acquit Trump could take place as early as Friday night.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.