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Tipsheet

Murkowski: 'I Cannot Vote to Convict' President Trump

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

On Monday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced that she cannot vote to convict President Trump. The senator's comments came after closing arguments were made in the president's impeachment trial. 

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Democrats were hoping to peel off some moderate Republican senators, like Lisa Murkowski, but the Alaskan senator voted last week against calling new witnesses before the Senate. 

While Murkowski called the president's behavior "shameful and wrong," the senator said the response to the president's behavior was "not to disenfranchise nearly 63 million Americans and remove him from the ballot."

"I cannot vote to convict," Murkowski added. "The Constitution provides for impeachment but does not demand it in all instances."

Murkowski admonished House Democrats for jumping to impeachment before utilizing other remedies available to redress the president's behavior. 

"The House could have pursued censure," Murkoswki explained, "and not immediately jumped to the remedy of last resort." 

The idea of censuring the president rather than removing him from office is an idea Sen. Joe Manchin (R-WV) indicated he may support during his Monday speech on the Senate floor.

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"I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure this president,” Sen. Manchin said on Monday.  

The Senate would only need a simple majority in order to censure the president, much less than the two-thirds needed in order to remove the president from office. 

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