Group’s 6 January donation shows Trump’s grip on attorneys general

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A leading group of Republican attorney generals who donated $150,000 to co-sponsor a January 6 rally where Donald Trump advanced his false claims of election fraud prior to the Capitol attack may ask a House committee to investigate. that can investigate incidents. riots.

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The group – part of the Republican Attorney General’s Association (RAGA), called the Rule of Law Defense Fund – has attracted strong criticism from watchdogs and former prosecutors, even as RAGA is ahead of next year’s midterm elections. look forward to and has many members Joe is fighting against Biden’s agenda on multiple fronts.


The controversy surrounding the raga appears to be another way that Trump and his supporters have tightened their grip on more mainstream elements of the Republican Party, and enlisted them in efforts to advance their agenda.

Raag’s policy arm, the RLDF, raised $150,000 for the January 6 rally, and arranged the robbery a day before informing the public that “we will march to the Capitol and ask Congress to stop the piracy,” a The message that was probably reinforced was Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who told Trump’s rally: “We will not give up fighting.”

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The watchdog’s criticism of the Raga policy arm, which supports the rally, emphasizes that the group’s funding and robbery came after dozens of court decisions dismissed Trump’s claims of fraud. They say it undermines respect for the nation’s laws, as well as diverts it from the group’s main focus of helping get the Republican attorney general elected.

In addition, rally funding and robberies by the RLDF led to the resignation of high-level officials, including the RAGA president, the Georgia Attorney General, who expressed concern about the group’s direction when he stepped down.

Controversies about Raag’s rally activities come as the group has received a hefty $5.5m from the dark money Concord fund since early 2020, which could help the Republican attorney general in the 2022 elections, and several Republicans, including Paxton. The Attorney General filed suit. For thwarting Biden’s energy, immigration and vaccine policies.

The $150,000 check that the RLDF donated to the rally came from Publix supermarket heir Julie Jenkins fancily, reported by ProPublica. The fund was arranged by Republican fundraiser Carolyn Wren, a “VIP advisor” for the rally. which was called for investigation by the House Committee. January 6 Capital Attack.

When asked about Raag’s investigation and his large donation to the rally, A House Select Committee spokesman told the Granthshala that it is seeking “information about a number of events leading up to the January 6 attack, including details of planning, coordinating, paying or receiving funding related to those events.” “

Some watchdog groups condemned Raga’s role in the rally. Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said in a statement: “Prior to January 6 it was clear that the planned rally was based on lies, favoritism and disrespect for the rule of law.”

“That is what Raga and its corporate sponsors chose to fund. The fact that the rally turned into a violent attack on democracy makes Raga’s participation worse… Raaga and its funders must be held accountable.”

Similarly, some former prosecutors express serious concern about the message that the dacoits carried by the political wing of Raag conveyed.

“The attorney general must support the observance of the law,” said Paul Pelletier, former acting head of the fraud section at the DOJ. “By the time of the rally every court in the country had confirmed the validity of the election results and in particular had dismissed the allegations of fraud. At the time, it seems Raga, by urging the protesters to ‘stop piracy’ , was promoting an unlawful attack on our democracy – contrary to their mission.”

Raga’s then-executive director, who resigned soon after the Capitol attack, condemned the mob violence that resulted in many deaths and over 140 injured police officers, and widely denied that neither Raga Nor was there any “involvement” of the RLDF. planning, sponsoring or organization of protest”.

Donald Trump’s face is shown on screen while speaking to supporters at a January 6 rally in Washington. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

But the campaign finance watchdog does not accept Raag’s denial.

“RAGA’s policy wing and other groups helped organize a rally before the riots and attack on democracy,” said Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director of Open Secrets.

The fallout on January 6’s role in Raga escalated in April when Georgia AG, Chris Carr, who had been chairing the overall group, suddenly announced that he was stepping down as chair, and wrote a resignation letter to Raga. Noted a “significant difference” regarding direction. ,

Later in April, Raga announced that Peter Bisbee, who oversaw the RLDF when the robocalls happened, was being promoted to become Raga’s executive director.

Since Biden took office, several members of RAGA, including Paxton of Missouri and Louisiana and others, have filed a wave of lawsuits to block multiple Biden preferences.

The increase in lawsuits is seen as potentially helpful to the 2022 campaigns, when 30 Republican and Democratic attorney generals will run for re-election after a four-year term. In the 2020 elections, Raga targeted the incumbent Democratic Attorney General with ads for the first time, and Democrats may try to oust the attorney general, who was key Biden allies last year in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, where Trump and his aides put forward false claims of fraud.

While some corporate backers in Raga withdrew checks after January 6 this year, its fundraising got a boost when it pulled in $2.5 million, the largest contribution ever and through the first half of 2021. for more than a third of the total that was raised from the darkness. The Money Concord Fund, which Federalist Society executive Leonard Leo helped create.

Raga also received $3 million from Concorde Fund in 2020.

Raga also participated in a low-six-figure check from oil and gas giants such as Koch Industries and Anschutz Corp and Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity in 2021.

Over the years, raga has received financial support from industries including fossil fuels and pharmaceuticals, which GOP AG has supported in major litigation.

Trump himself is slated to host a fundraiser for Paxton at his Mar-a-Lago club next month, which underscores his gratitude and the former Raga president’s tough election campaign as he has three Republican challenges have emerged. Those adversaries are focusing on Paxton’s legal problems: he was charged with securities fraud six years ago and the FBI is investigating allegations of alleged bribery and other misconduct.

Last fall, some of Paxton’s former deputies accused him of improperly helping an Austin real estate developer and donor, leading to more FBI investigations.

Paxton, who has not been charged, has largely denied any wrongdoing. Paxton’s office released an unsigned 374-page report this August denying former colleagues’ allegations and claiming they were acquitted, but lawyers for former employees responded that the report was “half-truth”. , was full of outright lies and obvious omissions”.

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