Mitch McConnell Meets with Lisa Murkowski as Witness Vote Looms

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, listen to questions from the media after the weekly Senate Policy Luncheon on Capitol Hill January 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Senators discussed …
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly met with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on Wednesday amid his effort to garner sufficient GOP support to block the Democrats’ effort to call forth additional witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial.

McConnell met with Murkowski on Wednesday, one of the five senators — Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) — who could compromise the GOP’s effort to block additional witnesses in the trial.

“I am not going to be discussing the witness situation right now,” Murkowski told reporters following the meeting.

“I’ve got some more questions that I want to get into the mix,” she said ahead of the first day of questioning, adding that she has 14 questions altogether. “I’ve been talking to the folks in the cloakroom to see what the universe is, and how we can supplement that.”

“They’re all over the board,” she said of the questions.

The GOP, however, is not yet showing signs of defeat just days ahead of Friday’s vote.

Collins and Romney have signaled interest in hearing from former National Security Adviser John Bolton, but neither have reached a final decision.

Murkowski this week added that she was “curious” to see what Bolton has to say and indicated that she would make a decision soon:

I stated before that I was curious as to what John Bolton might have to say. From the outset, I’ve worked to ensure this trial would be fair and that members would have the opportunity to weigh in after its initial phase to determine if we need more info,” she said in a statement. “I’ve also said there is an appropriate time for us to evaluate whether we need additional information —that time is almost here. I look forward to the White House wrapping up presentation of its case.

McConnell needs 51 votes to block the Democrats’ call for additional witnesses.


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