Murkowski joins Republican chorus calling Rep. Nadler’s remark ‘offensive’

Reporters are limited to a confined area outside the Senate chamber during the the impeachment trial. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she was insulted by a House manager’s assertion that Republicans who voted against impeachment witnesses were engaged in a “cover-up” for President Trump.

“I took it as very offensive,” Murkowski told reporters in the basement of the Senate Wednesday afternoon. “As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended.” 

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., is one of the House managers presenting the case against the president. As the Tuesday night session stretched past midnight, he accused Republican senators of abetting Trump. 

“I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses, an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote,” he said.

A reporter asked Murkowski what she thought of the statement as she made her way toward the Senate chamber for the second day of the trial.

She was among many Republicans who condemned the remark, and the national spotlight is on her, because Trump opponents hope she’ll vote to allow witnesses at the impeachment trial. 

Murkowski, like all Republicans, voted against Democratic amendments to the rules. She says the vote on witnesses should come later and she says she won’t know how she’ll vote until she hears the case. 

The House managers are in the middle of presenting that case now.

Senate Democrats called the furor over the Nadler remark a distraction.

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She's @lruskin on Twitter. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz