Sen. Lisa Murkowski had a few choice words for Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee leading the charge on impeachment.
Nadler had been arguing in favor of having former national security adviser John Bolton testify during the Senate trial.
But Nadler could not resist his impulses — he had take it a step further and accuse all Senate Republicans of conducting a “cover up.”
Nadler had said, “I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses, an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote,” essentially putting Republicans on trial for corruption.
Even Sen. Chuck Schumer accused Republicans of taking part in a cover up.
That didn’t go over so well with Murkowski.
“As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended,” Murkowski told reporters who asked her to comment on Nadler’s needling.
Murkowski, considered a moderate Republican by most political observers, plays a key role in the proceedings because she is never in lock-step on any issue. People on the far right are often frustrated by her unwillingness to state her position on impeachment.
And now, she is starting to frustrate Democrats, as they continue to put pressure on her to vote to convict the president.
But Murkowski is process-oriented lawmaker, a trait that sometimes drives her conservative critics to distraction.
Murkowski was voting with McConnell and the rest of Republicans, except Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, in favor of taking things in steps. Witnesses could come later and Murkowski wasn’t going to be bullied into pre-judging whether witnesses are warranted.
The pressure is on, however. Murkowski’s office has received thousands of phone calls from around the country from Democrats encouraging her to vote with Democrats in favor of guaranteeing appearances by the Democrats’ witnesses.
Her siding with McConnell has the Left uneasy, so now they have taken to Twitter, a platform dominated by leftwing voices:
“Murkowski can take her righteous indignation and shove it,” one woman wrote.
“I find it ironic that Lisa Murkowski is outraged at Nadler for calling it a cover up! Well, Lisa what would YOU call it when every single republican voted down 3 different amendments to allow witnesses and documents? A COVERUP! Spare the outrage! The House deserves to be outraged,” wrote another.
“Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and the other ‘very serious’ GOP phonies can feel free to go to hell. All these bastards are dragging us closer to totalitarianism, vote by vote,” wrote another angry leftist.
It’s new territory for Murkowski to be criticized by the Left for being too thoughtful and deliberative. These are usually the sentiments of the right wing.
The trial schedule has the issue of witnesses coming up six days after the opening arguments by the House Democrats and the Trump defense lawyers. For Murkowski, it seems to make sense, and appeals to her process-oriented nature.
“I went on to explain more fully what it is that we’re dealing with. And what has been proposed, at that point in time, was the same thing that we have in front of us right now, which is that we should follow this Clinton model …” Murkowski told reporters.
The Left is now as mad at Murkowski as the far right appears to be much of the time.
The “process-oriented senator” who works across the aisle to get bills passed, is not giving the Left the assurances they want, and their talons have come out. The entire scene is reminiscent of the criticism she faced when she refused to be a “yea” vote for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, only back then, the rebuke was coming from the other side.
It’s a reminder that in politics, “there are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests.”