Murkowski and Sullivan take opposing views of Trump indictment

Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski speaking to the media
U.S. Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski at the 2020 opening ceremony for the Operation Lady Justice Task Force Cold Case Office in Anchorage. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska’s two Republican U.S. senators had nearly opposite responses to the indictment of former President Donald Trump.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the charges in the case are “quite serious and cannot be casually dismissed.” 

Trump is charged with 38 counts, including mishandling classified documents, some describing the country’s vulnerability to military attack. The indictment says disclosure could endanger national security. Trump is alleged to have kept the documents after leaving office, then obstructing the government’s attempt to get them back and to investigate.

Murkowski said in an emailed statement such crimes can expose national secrets as well as sources and methods used to obtain them. Anyone found guilty, even a former president, should face the same consequences, she said. She cited the adage that no one is above law. 

Sen. Dan Sullivan, on the other hand, said the prosecution of Trump “will almost certainly do lasting damage to our polarized nation.” 

Sullivan suggested that prosecuting Trump gives the impression that America has a two-tiered justice system.

His statement was published just after the indictment was unsealed and seems to have been written ahead of time. It says it was based on “reports” of the indictment, rather than the indictment itself. His spokesman did not answer when asked if Sullivan wanted to respond to the specifics detailed in the charges.

CORRECTION: This story was changed to reflect the timing of Sen. Sullivan’s 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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