Dark money group behind Republican state attorneys general organized protest before the insurrection

Dark money group behind Republican state attorneys general organized protest before the insurrection
Pro-Trump protesters storm US Capitol - Police officers try to stop supporters of US President Donald Trump as they storm the US Capitol building where lawmakers were due to certify president-elect Joe Biden's win in the November election. - Miguel Juarez Lugo/ZUMA Wire/dpa
Police: 52 arrested in Capitol unrest, 14 officers injured

As more and more detail emerges about the events in the nation's capital Wednesday, it becomes clearer that this was a planned revolt and that it was organized within the Republican establishment. So much so that the Republican Association of Attorneys General (RAGA)—the chief Republican law enforcement officers for their states—used its dark money group to help organize the mob. The Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), a "nonprofit" set up by the RAGA, appears in a list of groups "Participating in the March to Save America" along with Stop the Steal, Turning Point Action, Tea Party Patriots, and others.

The RLDF sent out a robocall to activists saying: "The march to save America is tomorrow in Washington D.C. at the Ellipse in President's Park between E St. and Constitution Avenue on the south side of the White House, with doors opening at 7:00 a.m." So they're making sure everyone knows where to go. It gets worse. "At 1:00 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on congress to stop the steal. We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections." The call gives a web address, MarchtoSaveAmerica.com, and concludes: "This call is paid for and authorized by the Rule of Law Defense Fund." Again, this is coming from state attorneys general, the people elected to uphold and enforce the rule of law.

RAGA's chair, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, insists he "unequivocally had no knowledge or involvement" in the robocall and "is working diligently to determine how this situation occurred and ensure that it does not happen again."

The executive director of RAGA, Adam Piper, had the gall to issue a statement saying that the RAGA and RLDF "had no involvement in the planning, sponsoring or the organization of Wednesday's event" despite the fact that they are listed on the website as an organizing entity of the event and they sent the goddamned robocall telling everyone where to go and what the agenda for the coup would be. So that's believable. He added: "No Republican AG authorized the staff's decision to amplify a colleague speaking at the event." So we had nothing to do with it, but if we had anything to do with it, it's the staff's fault.

Few are buying that load, particularly the Democratic Attorneys General Association. Co-Chairs Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and Nevada AG Aaron Ford released a scathing statement:

"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. 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." "RAGA, RLDF—and the Republican AGs who blindly take their support—have no legal or moral ground on which to stand here: the organization paid for robocalls to recruit attendees, it was listed as a sponsor of the event, its former Chair spoke at the rally that incited a mob, and former GOP AG Josh Hawley led the effort in Congress to undermine the election."

The DAGA is calling out every state Republican attorney general to "publicly distance themselves from the Republican Attorneys General Association and its leadership," and for every donor to the group, corporate or individual to "abstain from further supporting an organization that makes such a mockery of the rule of law and our beloved democracy." Speaking of those corporate donors, they're a who's who of dark money, including "Koch Industries ($375k), Comcast Corporation ($200k), Walmart ($140k), Home Depot ($125k), Amazon ($100k), TikTok ($75k), 1-800 Contacts ($51k), Chevron ($50k), The National Rifle Association ($50k), Monsanto ($50k), Facebook ($50k), Fox Corporation ($50k), Uber ($50k), Coca Cola ($50k), Exxon ($50k), and Google ($25k)."

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