Sullivan, Young silent as GOP calls Jan. 6 investigation ‘persecution … of legitimate political discourse’

Trump supporters crowd the East Plaza of the Capitol, on Jan. 6, 2021, two hours before the building was breached. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

UPDATE: Sen. Lisa Murkowski issued a statement Saturday condemning the Republican party’s normalization of the assault on the Capitol:

“What happened on January 6, 2021, was an effort to overturn a lawful election resulting in violence and destruction at the Capitol. We must not legitimize those actions which resulted in loss of life and we must learn from that horrible event so history does not repeat itself. 

As Americans we must acknowledge those tragic events, and we cannot allow a false narrative to be created. We cannot deny the truth—to suggest it was ‘legitimate political discourse’ is just wrong.”

Alaska’s congressional delegation was silent Friday on the Republican party’s censure of two members for investigating the events of Jan. 6 last year, the day supporters of Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol.

The party censured Representatives Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., for “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

They are the only two Republicans on the House committee examining the Jan. 6 attack.

Congressman Don Young and Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan did not respond to interview requests on the subject and did not answer emailed questions for this story.

During the Capitol siege, all three Alaska lawmakers condemned the attack. Sullivan called it “a sad day in American history” and “disgraceful.” Murkowski called it mob rule. Young said protestors needed to leave so Congress could return to its “Constitutional duties” – certifying the election of Joe Biden, which the insurrectionists tried to prevent.

But they’ve been quieter since. None of the three participated in the ceremonies marking the one-year anniversary. That day, only Murkowski issued a statement marking the occasion.

“We cannot ignore the riots of January 6th nor what led up to the insurrection at our Capitol,” her statement last month said. “We must understand so that it is never repeated.”

A few Republicans pushed back Friday, calling the censure shameful and wrong.

RELATED: Our Washington, DC, correspondent reflects on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot

NOTE: The headline was updated Saturday after Murkowski issued her statement.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at Read more about Liz here.

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