Alabama attorney general asks why Republican legal association promoted Trump rally ahead of Capitol riots

The Republican Attorneys General Association paid for Robocalls asking ‘patriots’ to march on Congress

Gino Spocchia
Sunday 10 January 2021 15:28 GMT
Fox News hosts lashes out at Trump supporters for storming Capitol building
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Alabama's attorney general is demanding to know why the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) advertised the rally in Washington DC that preceded the Capitol riot this week.

Steve Marshall, a Republican and top law enforcement officer in the state, called for an internal review after it was revealed by watchdog Documented that RAGA's policy branch, the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), had authorised and paid for Robocall messages that called on "patriots" to march on Congress.

"We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections," said an automated message, NBC News reported. The robocalls went out to RLDF members the day before the rally.

On Wednesday thousands of Trump supporters descended on DC for a “stop the steal” rally to protest the election win of president-elect Joe Biden, while the certification of Electoral College votes took place.

After being fired up by a speech from the president, along with remarks by his son Don Jr and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, a mob broke into the Capitol building, wreaking destruction and forcing lawmakers to evacuate. Five people, including a police officer, died in the riots.

Mr Marshall, who is head of the Rule of Law Defense Fund, said on Friday that he wanted an internal review as to why the fund had advertised the Trump rally.

"I was unaware of unauthorised decisions made by RLDF staff with regard to this week's rally. Despite currently transitioning into my role as the newly elected chairman of RLDF, it is unacceptable that I was neither consulted about nor informed of those decisions," said Mr Marshall.

"As I've previously stated, I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the actions of those who attempted to storm the US Capitol, a place where passionate but peaceful protestors had gathered and lawmakers debated inside," he added.

Chris Carr, RAGA chairman and Georgia's attorney general, said he was also unaware that the rally had been advertised by the fund.

In a statement, RAGA said that Wednesday was a “dark day in American history” and condemned those who took part in the riots.

"We strongly condemn and disavow the events which occurred,“ said the RAGA statement. “Wednesday was a dark day in American history and those involved in the violence and destruction of property must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and held accountable.”

Despite members of the Republican attorneys general group saying it was unaware of the robocalls, RLDF is listed on the Trump rally’s website, liberal watchdog Documented reported.

RAGA supports electing Republican attorneys general and has also backed Mr Trump’s baseless allegations of election fraud. Ten RAGA members filed a case with the US Supreme Court contesting mail-in ballots in swing states. It did not succeed.

In response to the Documented report, the Democratic Attorney General's Association (DAGA) condemned their Republican counterparts for their role in undermining the 2020 election results, and “dangerous lies”.

"Current and former Republican AGs have been directly involved with efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election, and now the party of so-called ‘law and order’ played a role in recruiting the domestic terrorists who breached the U.S. Capitol to attack vice president Mike Pence for doing his Constitutionally-mandated job to certify the Electoral College,” DAGA said.

According to AP, the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center also called for an investigation into RLDF and RAGA’s rally advertisement.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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