On Saturday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection after the House impeached Trump over his role in inspiring the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6. On that fateful day, a mob of the then-president’s supporters attempted to forcibly stop the formal Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory, and they were operating under the explicit pretense of Trump’s delusional lie that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. On Sunday, Murkowski shared a public statement in which she explained her vote, reiterating the reality of Trump’s guilt and implicitly shaming her colleagues who failed to meaningfully recognize this reality.
Murkowski commented, in part, as follows:
‘[After] listening to the trial this past week, I have reached the conclusion that President Trump’s actions were an impeachable offense and his course of conduct amounts to incitement of insurrection as set out in the Article of Impeachment… The facts make clear that the violence and desecration of the Capitol that we saw on January 6 was not a spontaneous uprising. President Trump had set the stage months before the 2020 election by stating repeatedly that the election was rigged, casting doubt into the minds of the American people about the fairness of the election.’
Getting into more specifics, Murkowski observed that Trump “urged his supporters to come to Washington, D.C. on January 6 to ‘Stop the Steal’ of an election that had not been stolen,” and in a speech to a crowd of his supporters in D.C. on January 6, Trump “intended to stoke passions in a crowd that [he] had been rallying for months.” At the rally where Trump spoke, attendees shouted “Storm the Capitol!” and “invade the Capitol building.” The connection between his rhetoric and the deadly violence is obvious.
Murkowski added as follows:
‘When President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, breached both chambers of Congress, and interrupted the certification of Electoral College votes, he took no action for hours… After the storm had calmed, the President endorsed the actions of the mob… President Trump allowing the violence to go on for hours without any clear directive or demand for peace – his intentional silence – cost Americans their lives… He was concerned about his election and retaining power.’
Thus, as she further explained, she voted to convict Trump. Read her full statement at this link.
My full statement after voting to convict President Donald J. Trump on charges of incitement of insurrection over the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol can be found here: https://t.co/VGJTDH42Fj
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) February 14, 2021
A subset of Republicans who voted to acquit the ex-president complained that the Senate supposedly didn’t have the appropriate jurisdiction to put Trump on trial in the first place, but Murkowski and a small number of other Republicans — along with all Senate Democrats — disagreed. As House impeachment case managers pointed out, there is no “January exception” in the Constitution that allows presidents to escape accountability for impeachable offenses if they commit the acts in question without enough time left in their tenure to hold a Senate trial.