Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said this week that she believes it would be “appropriate” to block President Trump from holding future office adding she believes he has committed an impeachable offense.
Murkowski hasn’t said if she will vote to convict Trump at the end of a Senate trial after a bipartisan coalition in the House impeached Trump for “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”
“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,” Murkowski told KTUU, an Alaska TV station, on Wednesday.
She added that blocking Trump from holding federal office again would be “one of the most consequential actions that we could take” and would be “appropriate … given what we have seen from his actions and his failure to uphold the Constitution.”
Trump has falsely claimed for weeks that the election was “rigged,” and urged his supporters to march on the Capitol last week as Vice President Pence and lawmakers were counting the Electoral College votes. Rioters breached the building, suspending the proceedings and forcing lawmakers to evacuate the House and Senate chambers.
A spokesperson for Murkowski didn’t immediately respond to a question about her comments.
It would take a two-thirds vote in the Senate to make Trump the first president to be convicted in an impeachment trial.
If that happens, soon-to-be Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has vowed that he will hold a second vote to block Trump from holding federal office again. That vote would only need a simple majority.
Some legal scholars have also argued Congress could block Trump from holding federal office again, regardless of the impeachment process, under the 14th Amendment because of language that states that no officeholder will have engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.
Schumer, however, has not publicly raised trying to block Trump from holding future office separately from a conviction in the Senate trial, which is not expected to start until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Wednesday.
Murkowski is part of a coalition of GOP senators viewed as likely to vote to convict Trump, though she said both in Wednesday’s interview and a statement on Thursday that she will listen to both sides make their arguments when the Senate sits as a jury. She will then decide how she will vote.
“When the Article of Impeachment comes to the Senate, I will follow the oath I made when sworn as a U.S. Senator. I will listen carefully and consider the arguments of both sides, and will then announce how I will vote,” Murkowski said in a separate statement on Thursday.