Murkowski defends Trump impeachment vote: ‘I stand my ground’

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska(KTUU)
Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 8:13 PM AKST
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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski defended her vote on Tuesday to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting the Jan. 6. riot in the U.S. Capitol.

“I stand my ground. If I had to take that vote again, I would vote to uphold my oath of office,” she said to a group of reporters in the state Capitol

Saturday’s vote saw seven Republican senators join all 50 Senate Democrats in voting to convict the former president. Those Republicans are now being rebuked in their home states.

North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr was censured by the state party on Tuesday. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana was censured by that state’s Republican party on Saturday evening.

The Alaska Republican Party passed a resolution opposing the impeachment trial itself, but Murkowski has not been censured at a state level. Glenn Clary, the chair of the Alaska GOP, did not respond to requests for comments.

“If the party is to censure me because they felt I needed to support the party, they can make that statement,” Murkowski said. “But I will make the statement again, that my obligation is to support the Constitution that I have pledged to uphold, even if it means that I have to oppose the direction of my state party.”

Several Alaska Republican party districts have recently voted to censure Murkowski.

The Alaska Republicans of District 31 voted to censure her on Saturday.

Jon Faulkner, the chair of the district in Homer, signed the resolution. He said the vote was unanimous among 11 or 12 members, but that it wasn’t just about the impeachment, that was just “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Faulkner said Murkowski has repeatedly undermined core Republican values and said the local party has asked that she run as an independent in 2022. He added that he knew of five other Alaska GOP districts out of 40 that had passed similar resolutions.

In Anchorage, the Republican Party of District 26 voted last Wednesday to censure Murkowski.

Mike Robbins, a candidate for Anchorage mayor, signed the letter, but declined to comment further, saying that talking to the media is for the state GOP. Robbins said the resolution speaks for itself.

Murkowski said there could be political consequences of her vote to convict, but “I cannot be afraid of that.” She said she wanted to get back to policy and that she wanted to see changes in the Republican Party, moving it away from the former president.

“I continue to be a Republican, but not a Trump Republican,” she said.

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