Sen. Lisa Murkowski lashed President Donald Trump on Thursday for inciting violence at the Capitol last week and praised the House for impeaching him — but the Alaska Republican will not yet reveal whether she plans to vote to convict Trump in the Senate’s upcoming trial.
Murkowski, who last week said Trump should resign in the aftermath of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol, is among a group of GOP senators that appears likely to vote in favor of conviction when the Senate puts Trump on trial beginning next week.
In a statement, she noted that Wednesday’s House vote impeaching the president drew bipartisan support and had the highest number of votes for any impeachment of a president. Ten House GOP members voted in favor of impeaching Trump, including Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican. Murkowski slammed Trump for his “false rhetoric” asserting that the election was “rigged” against him, as well as for his attempt to pressure state elections officials into overturning President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“On the day of the riots, President Trump’s words incited violence, which led to the injury and deaths of Americans — including a Capitol Police officer — the desecration of the Capitol, and briefly interfered with the government’s ability to ensure a peaceful transfer of power,” Murkowski said. “Such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence and the House has responded swiftly, and I believe, appropriately, with impeachment.”
Murkowski’s statement represents the strongest denunciation of Trump since the House voted 232 to 197 on Wednesday evening to impeach the president for “incitement of insurrection.” But she emphasized that she will not announce her vote on whether to convict Trump until after the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers present their arguments.
Last week, Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News that Trump should resign and said that “if the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me.”
The Senate is set to begin the impeachment trial next week once the Senate returns to Washington, though the current timeline overlaps with Biden’s inauguration, which is slated for Wednesday.