Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Monday said President Donald Trump's actions in connection with Ukraine were "shameful and wrong," but she couldn't vote to convict him.
"The president has the responsibility to uphold the integrity and the honor of the office, not just for himself, but for all future presidents," the Alaska Republican, one of the remaining undecided votes on Trump's impeachment, said in remarks on the Senate floor Monday evening, reports CNN. "Degrading the office by actions or even name-calling weakens it for future presidents and it weakens our country."
She also said that Trump's personal interests "do not take precedence over those of this great nation."
However, she said that she couldn't vote to convict Trump, as she does not think a fair trial proceeding was held.
"The response to the President's behavior is not to disenfranchise nearly 63 million Americans and remove him from the ballot," said Murkowski. "The House could have pursued censure and not immediately jumped to the remedy of last resort. I cannot vote to convict. The Constitution provides for impeachment, but does not demand it in all instances."
However, Murkowski also had harsh words for both the House and the Senate, saying the House rushed through the proceedings and the Senate remained too biased.
"The House rushed through what should have been one of the most serious, consequential undertakings of a legislative branch, simply to meet an artificial, self-imposed deadline," she said. "The Senate, should be ashamed by the rank partisanship that has been on display here."
Meanwhile, Democrats have been calling for Trump to be impeached for years, Murkowski said, but Republicans in the Senate "saw little need to even consider the arguments from the House before stating their intentions to acquit."
This means that for all its talk of impartiality, "few in this chamber approached this with a genuinely open mind," Murkowski commented.
She also suggested that voters will ultimately decide Trump's fate, not the Senate and House.
"The President's name is on ballots that have already been cast," she said. "The voters will pronounce a verdict in nine months, and we must trust their judgment."
Murkowski's decision comes days after her last-minute vote to not allow witnesses or documents led to a win for Senate Republicans who said they did not need them to come to a decision on the president.
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