GOP’s Murkowski laments Trump’s ‘baggage’ following guilty verdict

A moderate Republican senator finally broke her silence on former President Trump’s conviction on Friday, lamenting the focus “Trump’s legal drama” takes away from President Biden’s “indefensible record.””These distractions have given the Biden campaign a free pass as the focus has shifted from Biden’s indefensible record and the damage his policies have done to Alaska and our nation’s economy, to Trump’s legal drama,” wrote Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on X. “A Republican nominee without this baggage would have a clear path to victory.”The Republican, who frequently emerges as a detractor from her party in divisive matters, did not say whether she approved of the verdict or not. SOROS HEIR URGES DEMOCRATS TO HAMMER TRUMP AS ‘CONVICTED FELON AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY’The Alaska senator notably issued a last-minute endorsement of former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley for the Republican nomination for president shortly before her campaign ended. Haley often pointed to Trump’s legal troubles and the “chaos” she said follows him on the 2024 campaign trail, while similarly avoiding taking a position on whether the cases were right or wrong. SENATE DEMS IN BATTLEGROUND RACES CAREFUL TO WEIGH IN ON TRUMP VERDICT”Yesterday, a New York jury found former president Trump guilty of falsifying business records,” Murkowski wrote on Friday. “This is the first step in the legal process. The former president has the right to appeal and I fully expect him to exercise that right.”However, she said, “It is a shame that this election has focused on personalities and legal problems rather than a debate about policies that would lift up Americans.”SCHUMER URGES TRUMP ALLIES TO LET LEGAL PROCESS ‘MOVE FORWARD’ AFTER GUILTY VERDICTMany of Murkowski’s fellow Senate Republicans issued their responses to the verdict promptly, with most of them objecting to the outcome. Even Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who is often on the same page as Murkowski, denounced Thursday’s verdict. “It is fundamental to our American system of justice that the government prosecutes cases because of alleged criminal conduct regardless of who the defendant happens to be. In this case the opposite has happened. The district attorney, who campaigned on a promise to prosecute Donald Trump, brought these charges precisely because of who the defendant was rather than because of any specified criminal conduct,” the lawmaker said in a statement. “The political underpinnings of this case further blur the lines between the judicial system and the electoral system, and this verdict likely will be the subject of a protracted appeals process,” Collins said. ‘BOOM’: DEMOCRATS CELEBRATE TRUMP GUILTY VERDICT AS BIDEN WEIGHS REMAINING THREATCollins similarly did not back Trump for president in the GOP primary and admitted to voting for Haley. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has emerged as someone often in line with Murkowski and Collins on certain issues, but did not release his own statement on the Trump guilty verdict. Romney’s office did not immediately provide comment when contacted by Fox News Digital. However, earlier this month, Romney claimed President Biden made a mistake by not pardoning Trump. “You may disagree with this, but had I been President Biden, when the Justice Department brought on indictments, I would have immediately pardoned him,” he said in an interview on MSNBC. “I’d have pardoned President Trump. Why? Well, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardoned a little guy,” Romney explained. 
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