With the Trump charges still sealed, Sullivan denounces prosecution as unjust

man standing at a microphone
Sen. Dan Sullivan in Anchorage in July 2021. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan issued a full-throated denouncement of New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his decision to indict Donald Trump.

“Any criminal indictment of a former president should involve a serious crime with credible, airtight evidence,” Sullivan said in an emailed statement Friday morning. “From numerous press reports, this sealed indictment fails this test. Now, a local partisan prosecutor, well known for being soft on violent crime, has moved our country into banana republic territory — a sad day for our nation. The American people will see through this abuse of the rule of law.”

Sullivan’s criticism is in line with many other Republicans in Congress but also notable since the charges haven’t been made public and no one outside of the grand jury process has seen the evidence against the former president.

Sullivan’s statement also illustrates how thoroughly his position on Trump has changed. In 2016, he called for Trump to step down from the presidential ticket when the Access Hollywood tape emerged of Trump speaking crudely about grabbing women. Sullivan called it “reprehensible” and considered it proof Trump was unfit to be a national leader.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski responded more neutrally to word of Trump’s indictment.

“No one is above the law in this country, but everyone deserves a fair legal process,” she said in a written statement, adding that the case is unprecedented and must be handled with utmost integrity.

“Instead of rushing to individual judgment, we must also evaluate the evidence as it becomes available and use it to inform our opinions and statements about what is actually happening,” Murkowski said.

Alaska Congresswoman Mary Peltola made it clear she’s holding the matter at arm’s length.

“I am aware of the indictment that has been issued against former President Trump and will entrust the legal system to adjudicate this matter,” Peltola said in a written statement. “As a member of the legislative branch, I will continue to focus on advocating for Alaskans in Congress.” 

The indictment against Trump is expected to be unsealed Tuesday, when Trump appears in court for the first time in the case.

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

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