Peltola says charges against Trump further divide Americans

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola joined host Lori Townsend on “Talk of Alaska” for a discussion about the issues facing Alaskans on April 4, 2023 (Matt Faubion/AKPM)

Congresswoman Mary Peltola declined again Tuesday to pass judgment on the case against former president Donald Trump.

“I personally feel like, as a member of the legislative branch, it’s not really my place to comment on things in the judicial branch,” she said on “Talk of Alaska,” a weekly call-in show produced by Alaska Public Media.

Trump pleaded not guilty in a New York courtroom to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Peltola said she trusts that the case against Trump will be decided fairly in court. But she says the loud ruckus outside the court today discouraged her. 

“I think it’s a bleak day for Americans, because this is just one more divisive issue,” she said. “And we’re such a deeply divided country.”

Two callers asked about gun violence and banning assault rifles. Peltola reiterated her support of the Second Amendment. She says she’s open to solutions but is leery of supporting bills that don’t have a chance of passing.

When news of the indictment broke last week, Alaska’s two U.S. senators issued statements, before the charges were made public. Sen. Dan Sullivan, like many other Republicans in Congress, denounced the prosecutor and said he didn’t have “credible, airtight evidence” of a serious crime. Sen. Lisa Murkowski remained more neutral.

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

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