Republican senator who voted for Trump’s impeachment says he ‘played a key role in instigating the riot’

Lisa Murkowski is one of the only Republicans to survive re-election after voting to convict Trump

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 02 August 2023 17:11 BST
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Special Counsel Jack Smith announces indictment against Donald Trump in Jan 6 probe

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One of the few Republican senators who voted to convict former president Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial for his role in the January 6 riot, said that the latest indictment showed the former president played an “active role” in instigating the chaos.

A federal grand jury in Washington DC elected to indict the former president on four counts of violating three sections of the federal criminal code for his attempted scheme to stay in the White House despite losing the 2020 presidential election.

Sen Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined six other GOP senators in 2021 to convict Mr Trump for his role in inciting the riot at the US Capitol as Mr Trump’s supporters breached the complex in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

“In early 2021, I voted to impeach former President Trump based on clear evidence that he attempted to overturn the 2020 election after losing it,” Ms Murkowski said in a series of posts on X , formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday evening.

“Additional evidence presented since then, including by the January 6 Commission, has only reinforced that the former President played a key role in instigating the riots, resulting in physical violence and desecration of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021,” she added.

Ms Murkowski won re-election in Alaska last year largely thanks to the state moving to a ranked-choice system. Mr Trump campaigned heavily for her Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka last year.

She is one of only four remaining Republican senators who voted to convict Mr Trump, along with Sens Mitt Romney (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). So far, she is the only Republican senator who has won re-election since voting to convict Mr Trump. Only two of the 10 Republicans who voted in the House of Representatives to impeach Mr Trump remain in the chamber.

The Alaska Republican said that Mr Trump is considered innocent until proven guilty and will have his day in court like any American.

“As that process begins, I encourage everyone to read the indictment, to understand the very serious allegations being made in this case,” she said.

The grand jury charged Mr Trump with conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction of an official proceeding and deprivation of rights under the colour of law after a four-hour presentation by Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office.

Ms Murkowski’s words differ drastically from those of her Republican colleagues, including Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who called to defund Mr Smith’s office, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Andrew Feinberg contributed reporting

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