By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s attorney general is calling for an investigation into who may have authorized a branch of the Republican Attorneys General Association to promote the pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., that preceded a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The investigation comes on the heels of a report in Documented, a liberal watchdog group, that said the RAGA’s policy arm authorized and paid for a robocall that called on “patriots” to march on the Capitol as Congress was voting to certify the Electoral College results that declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential race.
“We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections,” said the recording of the robocall obtained by The Associated Press. It closed by saying that the RAGA’s Rule of Law Defense Fund had paid for and authorized the call.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, who heads the fund, on Friday said he was asking for an internal review.
“I was unaware of unauthorized 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,” Marshall said.
“As I’ve previously stated, I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the actions of those who attempted to storm the U.S. Capitol, a place where passionate but peaceful protestors had gathered and lawmakers debated inside,” Marshal said.
RAGA chairman Chris Carr, who is also Georgia’s attorney general, said he didn’t have any knowledge of the decision to be involved and is trying to find out what happened. The Republican Attorneys General Association issued a statement saying it was not involved in the planning, sponsoring, or the organization of Wednesday’s event.
“We strongly condemn and disavow the events which occurred. 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,” the statement said.
The Democratic Attorney General’s Association accused top Republican law enforcement officials of enabling efforts to undermine the 2020 election results.
“The continued peddling of conspiracy theories and pandering to President Trump’s dangerous lies by the Republican Attorneys General Association, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, and some current and former Republican Attorneys General has gone unchecked for too long,” said a statement by DAGA’s co-chairpersons, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford.
“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,” the statement said.
The chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party on Saturday questioned Marshall’s statement.
“Your organization called people and told them ‘we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal’ You’ve been in charge since Nov. 10. You really expect us to believe that you didn’t know anything about it?” Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Chris England tweeted.
The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center in a Saturday statement calling for an investigation.