Alaskans give their input on Donald Trump’s indictment

Alaskans give their input on Donald Trump’s indictment with many hoping for a fair trial, and others praising the charges.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 9:42 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2023 at 3:56 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Former President Donald Trump was indicted over the mishandling of classified documents on Thursday, making him the first former president to be charged by the federal government. In response, several Alaskans shared with Alaska’s News Source what they thought about the charges,

“It is unfortunate the federal prosecutor elected to indict a former President,” Alaskan Republican Party Chairman Ann Brown said. “He has the rights to due process, to the presumption of innocence, to face his accusers and to be tried by a jury of his peers. All of President Trump’s rights must be preserved and respected.”

Some Alaskans said the charges against the former president were a natural outcome of mishandling classified documents.

“I kind of feel for the guy because it seems like they’re constantly on his tail about his papers. But having worked in a place where you’re not allowed to take papers home — I get it, it’s government,” Anchorage resident Jana Kennedy said.

“There’s a reason they’re classified — you don’t take them home. They stay on the military base, they stay in the White House,” Anchorage resident James Wilkinson said. “If they want to send him to court for taking classified documents home, go for it. Even a conservative like me can see when a fellow conservative is in the wrong, and he’s in the wrong.”

While most of those reached by Alaska’s News Source were in approval of the indictment, there were also those who said they hoped for a fair trial.

“I’d really want to find out more to make sure that it was a fair process. I mean, some of the things in the indictment are concerning,” Anchorage resident Willow Peyton said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office shared a statement from the senator on Friday afternoon.

“As I’ve stated before, no one is above the law but every American is innocent until proven guilty. Still, the charges in this case are quite serious and cannot be casually dismissed. Mishandling classified documents is a federal crime because it can expose national secrets, as well as the sources and methods they were obtained through. The unlawful retention and obstruction of justice related to classified documents are also criminal matters. Anyone found guilty — whether an analyst, a former president, or another elected or appointed official — should face the same set of consequences.”

On Friday morning, Sen. Dan Sullivan issued the following statement:

“As I previously stated: The worst thing for our country is for Americans to start to believe that the Justice Department and FBI provide two tiers of justice, and that the indictment of a former president and current candidate for the White House is unprecedented and will almost certainly do lasting damage to our polarized nation.

“The American people know that for years Joe Biden stored classified documents in his garage and that Hillary Clinton mishandled classified emails stored on her private server in her home. But with this Justice Department there seems to be far more interest in pursuing former President Trump – President Biden’s chief political rival – than others.

“Equality before the law is a fundamental tenet of our republic. The Biden administration is shoving our country into dangerous territory that is eroding trust in critical institutions of our government.”

Rep. Mary Peltola released a statement on Friday afternoon.

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

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office did not provide a reaction when asked for comment, but Dunleavy revealed his thoughts Friday morning on Twitter, calling the indictment “unprecedented” and saying it “sets a terrible precedent.”

This story has been updated with additional information

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the Alaska delegation’s response, which previously had incorrectly noted which members had responded to Alaska’s News Source requests for comment.