The Republican campaign has been rocked by the ruling that Alaska’s governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin used her office to pursue a private feud in the so-called Troopergate affair.

A report in The Guardian says Palin “shrugged off” the findings of the state inquiry:

“Speaking at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, she remained defiant, insisting the inquiry outcome proved she had not broken the law. Shrugging her shoulders while addressing her audience, she said: ‘If you read the report, you will see there was nothing unlawful… or unethical about replacing a cabinet member.'”

“Her solicitor, Thomas Van Flein, said there was no evidence she had breached any ethical code. ‘In order to violate the ethics law, there has to be some personal gain, usually financial. [The report] has failed to identify any financial gain.’

“However, an already tense US presidential election campaign was electrified by the publication of the damning verdict, delivered by Stephen Branchflower, a retired prosecutor who was appointed as investigator last July by a Republican-dominated committee of the Alaska state legislature. Branchflower found that Palin had breached the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act, which states that ‘each public officer holds office as a public trust and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust’.”

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