An arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, a nationwide group representing the highest regulation enforcement officers of their states, despatched out robocalls encouraging folks to march to the U.S. Capitol the day earlier than the constructing was stormed by a pro-Trump mob.
“At 1:00 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” stated the voice on the recording, which was obtained by NBC News.
The calls, which didn’t advocate violence or recommend the constructing ought to be breached, was despatched out by the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a fundraising arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association. The teams share funding, workers and workplace house in Washington, D.C.
In a press release to NBC News, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, who runs the fund, stated the calls had been despatched out with out his data.
“I was unaware of unauthorized decisions made by RLDF staff with regard to this week’s rally,” stated Marshall, who assumed his function Nov. 10.
“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. I have directed an internal review of this matter.”
Demonstrators try and breach the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Victor J. Blue / Bloomberg by way of Getty Images
An internet site set as much as promote the rally that preceded the Capitol incursion lists the Rule of Law Defense Fund as one of many taking part organizations. The website has since been taken down.
Adam Piper, the chief director of the Republican Attorneys General Association, and Peter Bisbee, the chief director of the fundraising arm, didn’t return requests for remark in regards to the robocalls, which had been first reported by the watchdog group Documented.
A spokesperson for Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, the chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, stated he “had no knowledge or involvement in this decision.”
“Attorney General Carr has been working diligently to determine how this situation occurred and ensure that it does not happen again,” stated spokesperson Katie Byrd.
“The stance of the protestors was not consistent with Attorney General Carr’s position on election fraud. And, as he has been saying since moments after seeing news break, the violence and destruction we saw at the U.S. Capitol is unacceptable and un-American.”
The Republican Attorneys General Association raised greater than $18 million in 2020 from a number of prime firms, together with Pepsi, Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, and Comcast, the dad or mum firm of NBC News. Its supporters additionally embrace curiosity teams such because the NRA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which was its prime donor in 2020 with a $750,000 contribution.
Many corporations that donated to the Republican Attorneys General Association additionally gave to the Democratic occasion equal. Several advised NBC News that spending cash on this sort of recruitment for protest runs counter to the aim of their donation.