GOP Senator 'Disturbed' Mitch McConnell Coordinating Impeachment Trial with Trump, Demands 'Fair Process'

Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said she was "disturbed" after hearing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top GOP senators were coordinating the impending impeachment trial with the White House.

Murkowski, who has previously been critical of the partisan nature of the House impeachment inquiry, is now taking on McConnell and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham for both claiming there would be "total coordination" between the U.S. Senate and President Donald Trump over his own impeachment trial.

The Alaska GOP senator told the local Anchorage KTUU-TV news station this week that McConnell's comments have further "confused" the impeachment process and made it appear Republican senators are completely on the side of Trump's defense. In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity earlier this month, McConnell said, "Everything I do during this, I'm coordinating with White House counsel. There'll be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this."

"It is fair to say that there is so much uncertainty," Murkowski told KTUU-TV Tuesday, then referencing McConnell's total "coordination" White House comments. "And in fairness, when I heard that I was disturbed. 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."

Graham echoed McConnell's coordination comments, telling a CNN International reporter on December 14 he had no intention of "trying to be a fair juror."

The Alaska GOP senator said she is still undecided about how she will vote when the trial takes place - something she said should be expected of all fellow members of the Senate. "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 called for a "full and fair process" which potentially uses former President Bill Clinton's impeachment hearings and trial as a template for Trump's proceedings.

Murkowski, who serves on the Senate Energy and Naturals Resources Committee as well as the Committee on Appropriations, also previously criticized the House Democrat-led impeachment investigation earlier this month. She said House lawmakers rushed the process and that problems which were left unresolved - including whether key witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton can be brought forward to testify - are now being passed over to the Senate.

"How we will deal with witnesses remains to be seen," she added. Earlier this month she discussed her complaints about how the House impeachment investigation was purely partisan based upon final vote counts - no Republicans voted in favor of either article of impeachment.

"There has been little to no, I think, efforts to try to work with either the Republican House members on the committees, or to kind of come to some terms of rules of engagement," she told the Anchorage Daily News earlier this month. "And so it has made this appear even more partisan than perhaps it might have otherwise."

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Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican - Alaska) (center) talks with reporters as she heads for the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on October 2 in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
GOP Senator 'Disturbed' Mitch McConnell Coordinating Impeachment Trial with Trump, Demands 'Fair Process' | Politics