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Schmitt had ‘no knowledge’ of AG group’s robocall before Capitol siege, spokesman says

Schmitt had ‘no knowledge’ of AG group’s robocall before Capitol siege, spokesman says

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Eric Schmitt

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt at a press conference in St. Louis on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) speaks on the Senate floor for the first time since rioters stormed the Capitol building. Hawley condemned the day's violence but also called for an investigation into “irregularities and fraud.” and vowed to continue objecting to the presidential election results.

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt had “no knowledge” of a robocall a group tied to GOP attorneys general sent out ahead of violent clashes at the U.S. Capitol, Schmitt’s spokesman said Saturday.

The Rule of Law Defense Fund, a fundraising entity connected to the Republican Attorneys General Association, sent out the robocalls a day before the siege, NBC News reported, following an investigation by the watchdog group Documented.

Rule Of Law Defense Fund Robocall by Documented

The Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), a 501(c)(4) arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), helped organize the Jan 6, 2021 Washington, D.C. protest that preceded the attack of Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol. The audio of the robocall details where and when the protests would take place.

The robocall urged people to march to the U.S. Capitol, using phrases such as “continue to fight” and “stop the steal,” Documented reported.

“(W)e will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” the robocall said, according to Documented. “We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections.”

Schmitt is vice chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

“Attorney General Schmitt absolutely had no knowledge of or involvement in the robocall, and condemns the violence that took place on Wednesday in the strongest possible terms, period,” Schmitt spokesman Chris Nuelle said in a statement.

Nuelle didn’t respond to questions about Schmitt’s duties as vice chairman, or whether Schmitt regretted his role in attempting to reverse Trump’s election loss by joining an ill-fated Texas lawsuit, given the deadly violence that occurred Wednesday.

Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the chaos, which followed a rally held nearby. Trump spoke at the rally, calling on protesters to march to the Capitol.

Nuelle referred all other questions to the Rule of Law Defense Fund. A message left at a phone number listed for the organization in tax forms was not returned.

Adam Piper, executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association, said in a statement the association and defense fund “had no involvement in the planning, sponsoring, or the organization of Wednesday’s event” — but the statement didn’t elaborate as to what “event” Piper was referring to.

The robocall, according to Documented, advertised “The March to Save America,” which was to start on the south side of the White House, the call said.

“The march to save America is tomorrow in Washington, D.C. at the Ellipse in President’s Park between E Street and Constitution Avenue on the south side of the White House, with doors opening at 7 a.m. At 1 p.m. we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” the robocall said, according to Documented.

“Organizationally and individually, we strongly condemn and disavow the events which occurred,” Piper said. “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.”

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