Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said earlier this week that she believes it would be “appropriate” for Congress to bar President Donald Trump from holding public office again, blaming him for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to impeach Trump a second time, with 10 Republicans voting alongside Democrats to impeach the president on charges of inciting an insurrection against the U.S. government.
Speaking to KTUU-TV, Murkowski said that the first time Trump was impeached was “a highly, highly, highly, highly partisan process, this is different.” Citing House Republican Conference Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump, Murkowski said that this time impeachment shares bipartisan support.
She did not indicate how she will vote when the Senate conducts an impeachment trial — which will take place sometime after Jan. 19 — but she did say she believes Trump committed impeachable offenses.
“I will do what I am required and entrusted to do as a senator, as effectively listening to that trial and that proceeding, and I will make that determination at that time,” Murkowski said. “But what I will tell you is that what I believe is that this president has committed an impeachable offense through his words on the sixth of January, and leading up to the sixth of January, when he was not honest to the American people about the election and the election results.”
“There must be a consequence for this action,” she added.
A Senate impeachment trial conducted after the defendant has already left office is unprecedented in U.S. history. While some Republican senators such as Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) have said impeachment for the purpose of removing the president would be “moot,” the second part of the Senate’s impeachment power would bar Trump from seeking office again.
Murkowski supports preventing Trump from running for president again.
“I think that is one of the most consequential actions that we could take, and I think that would be appropriate,” she said. “Given what we have seen from his actions and his failure to uphold the Constitution.”
Though she did not say how she would vote, Murkowski’s past statements indicate her strong preference for Trump to leave office. Last week, Murkowski called on President Trump to resign from office.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News.