Republican Attorneys General Under Pressure to Address Ties to January 6 Attack on the Capitol
In case you missed it, the policy arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) — known as the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF) — sponsored and paid for robocalls promoting the “Stop the Steal” rally on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021. This follows months of current and former Republican Attorneys General fueling the conspiracy theories that led to the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol through frivolous legal actions, PR stunts, and on-going efforts to undermine the 2020 elections. In fact, the New York Times recently noted that the RLDF robocall “underscored the extent to which Mr. Trump’s die-hard supporters were leaning on elected officials to support his spurious fraud claims.”
- Former RAGA Chair indicted Texas AG Ken Paxton spoke at the rally before the insurrection, later falsely claiming the rioters were part of Antifa.
- Senator Josh Hawley, former Republican AG from Missouri, led the effort in the Senate to object to the Electoral College votes.
- 18 Republican AGs signed onto Texas AG Ken Paxton’s legally laughable lawsuit that sought to throw out legally cast votes in the battleground states.
- Utah AG Sean Reyes traveled to Nevada after the election in search of non-existent fraud.
Here’s a look at the national headlines:
- NBC: Republican AGs group sent robocalls urging march to the Capitol
- Washington Post: Republican AGs group sent robocalls urging protesters to the Capitol. GOP officials now insist they didn’t know about it.
- Associated Press: Actions by GOP attorneys general could damage credibility
- The Guardian: Republican attorneys general condemned over robocall that urged march to Capitol
- Business Insider: A day before the riot at the Capitol, people received a call from a group of Republican attorneys general urging them to ‘march:’ report
- CNBC: Pro-Trump dark money groups organized the rally that led to deadly Capitol Hill riot
- TheGrio: Republican AGs association promoted Capitol march through robocalls
The recent investigation into RAGA’s role in the events of January 6, 2021 put a spotlight on Republican AGs — and the committee that bankrolls their campaigns. Despite a quick resignation from the RAGA Executive Director, the overwhelming sentiment in the press and from the public is that this is about more than just a robocall. The pressure is on to hold these elected leaders accountable for their role in one of the darkest days in our democracy. Already there have been calls for resignations, demands for investigations, requests for disbarments, and even malpractice lawsuits filed against Republican AGs.
- The Associated Press reported that “a four-page filing with the South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Columbia attorney Chris Kenney accused Attorney General Alan Wilson and 16 other Republican attorneys general of contributing to the chaotic political situation by filing legal challenges casting doubt on election’s integrity.”
- Alabama WTVY: SPLC wants Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall investigated
- Arkansas Times: Taxpayers sue Attorney General Leslie Rutledge for spending state money to help Donald Trump and herself
- Charleston Post and Courier Editorial Board: Wilson should resign from Republican Attorneys General Association
- Dallas Observer: Democratic State Rep. Chris Turner Calls for Investigating AG Ken Paxton Following Capitol Raid
- Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani said, “we deserves answers of why RAGA paid for pro-Trump robocalls spreading lies & inciting violence.”
- Omaha World-Herald: State senator seeks answers on whether Nebraska AG had role in urging Capitol protest
- West Virginia WTAP: W.Va NAACP calls for the removal and disbarment of AG Patrick Morrisey
Not surprisingly, Republican Attorneys General and the Republican Attorneys General Association refuse to accept responsibility and acknowledge any wrongdoings. In fact, Florida AG Ashley Moody even attempted to scrub her website of mentions of her ties to RLDF.
Thankfully, voters will have a chance in 2022 to hold many of these leaders accountable at the ballot box. In fact, in 2022, there will be state AG elections in more than 30 states including states like Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas, where Republican AGs are in the hot seat and it’s only day 22 of the cycle.