GOP's Murkowski laments Trump's 'baggage' after guilty verdict

A moderate Republican senator finally broke her silence on former President Trump's conviction on Friday, lamenting the focus that “Trump's legal drama” is taking away from President Biden's “indefensible record.”

“These distractions have given the Biden campaign free rein, as the focus has shifted from Biden's indefensible record and the damage his policies have inflicted on Alaska and our nation's economy, to Trump's legal drama,” wrote Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. about X. “A Republican candidate without this baggage would have a clear path to victory.”

The Republican, who often comes out as a detractor of her party on divisive issues, did not say whether she approved of the verdict or not.

SOROS HEIR URGES DEMOCRATS TO HAMMER TRUMP AS A 'CONVICTED Felon' AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, issued a statement Friday in response to former President Donald Trump's guilty verdict. (Getty Images)

The Alaska senator notably made a last-minute statement of support for 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 is following him on the 2024 campaign trail, while similarly avoiding taking a position on whether things were right or wrong.

SENATE DEMS IN BATTLEGROUND RACES CAREFUL TO WEIGH ON TRUMP VERDICT

“Yesterday, a jury in New York found former President Trump guilty of falsifying company 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's a shame that this election has focused on personalities and legal issues rather than a debate about policies that would uplift Americans.”

SCHUMER URGES TRUMP ALLIES TO 'MOVE FORWARD' THE COURT PROCESS AFTER GUILTY VERDICT

Lisa Murkowski in conversation with Susan Collins

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was more outspoken with her views on the verdict than Murkowski. (Anna Rose Layden/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Many of Murkowski's fellow Republicans in the Senate immediately reacted to the verdict, with most 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 justice system that the government prosecute cases for alleged criminal conduct, regardless of who the suspect is. In this case the opposite happened. The prosecutor, who campaigned on a promise to prosecute Donald Trump, “this charge was filed precisely because of who the defendant was, and not because of any specific criminal conduct,” the lawmaker said in a statement.

“The political underpinnings of this case further blur the lines between the legal system and the electoral system, and this ruling will likely be the subject of a lengthy appeals process,” Collins said.

'BOOM': DEMOCRATS CELEBRATE TRUMP GUILTY VERDICT AS BIDEN WEIGHS REMAINING THREAT

Senator Mitt Romney leaves the Senate after voting on gay marriage

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, did not issue a statement on the verdict. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Collins similarly did not endorse Trump for president in the Republican primaries and admitted to voting for Haley.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has emerged as someone who often aligns with Murkowski and Collins on certain issues, but has not released his own statement on Trump's guilty verdict.

Romney's office did not immediately comment when contacted by Fox News Digital.

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Earlier this month, however, Romney claimed that President Biden had made a mistake by not pardoning Trump. “You may not agree with this, but if I were President Biden, I would have immediately pardoned him when the Justice Department filed charges,” he said in an interview on MSNBC.

“I would 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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