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Trump impeachment trial: Murkowski votes to convict, Sullivan votes to acquit

Published: Feb. 13, 2021 at 6:27 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Former President Donald J. Trump has been acquitted for the second time by the United States Senate. Among the republicans who voted to convict was Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski joined six other GOP senators and all 50 democrats in voting for Trump to be found guilty.

Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan was among those who voted to acquit. Sullivan called the trial a “rushed, ‘snap’ impeachment, in a written statement where he maintained his stance that he does not believe the Senate has the jurisdiction to convict a former president who is now a private citizen. He did say, however, he condemns the violence that happened at the Capitol on January 6.

“I also condemn former President Trump’s poor judgment in calling a rally on that day, and his actions and inactions when it turned into a riot. His blatant disregard for his own Vice President, Mike Pence, who was fulfilling his constitutional duty at the Capitol, infuriates me,” wrote Sullivan. “I will never forget the brave men and women of law enforcement—some of whom lost their lives and were seriously injured — who carried out their patriotic duty to protect members of Congress that day.”

Murkowski released a statement early Sunday morning explaining why she voted to convict. In the written statement, Murkowski wrote that she committed to upholding her oath as a U.S. Senator by reviewing the facts and listening to all sides thoroughly and impartially before deciding how she would vote. She wrote that she determined the actions of President Trump were an impeachable offense and his course of conduct amounted to incitement of insurrection.

“If months of lies, organizing a rally of supporters in an effort to thwart the work of Congress, encouraging a crowd to march on the Capitol, and then taking no meaningful action to stop the violence once it began is not worthy of impeachment, conviction, and disqualification from holding office in the United States, I cannot imagine what is. By inciting the insurrection and violent events that culminated on January 6, President Trump’s actions and words were not protected free speech,” Murkowski’s statement said in part. “I honor our constitutional rights and consider the freedom of speech as one of the most paramount freedoms, but that right does not extend to the President of the United States inciting violence.”

Along with Murkowski, GOP Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania voted to convict.

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