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Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, called for an end to partisanship in a Feb. 3 speech explaining why she would vote to acquit President Donald Trump of the charges laid out against him in the articles of impeachment. Murkowski was one of a handful of moderate Republicans who were being closely watched for how they would vote in the trial.
Last week, Murkowski voted against calling witnesses in the trial because of the political motives she said tainted the impeachment process. Speaking on the Senate floor, Murkowski said she worked to secure a “fair, honest and transparent structure” for the impeachment trial but the foundation of the charges against Trump were “rotted.” She criticized Democrats for rushing to meet a self-imposed deadline and said previous impeachment trials were much more robust in terms of the evidence they considered. “Some have been calling for the president to be impeached for years,” Murkowski said, while also criticizing some of her fellow Republicans for barely considering the arguments before announcing their intention to acquit the president. “The president’s behavior was shameful and wrong,” the senator acknowledged. But she said the proper response to the president’s behavior was not to disenfranchise voters by barring Trump from running for reelection, which would have been required if he were convicted of the articles of impeachment. House managers and the president’s legal team each delivered their closing arguments in the impeachment trial on Feb. 3 before senators began to weigh in with debate on whether to remove Trump from office. In December, the House of Representatives charged him with two articles of impeachment -- abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. After the Senate on Friday voted to bar new witness testimony and subpoenas for documents, Trump’s acquittal has seemed all but assured.
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