Republican Attorneys General dark money group organized protest preceding Capitol mob attack
This report has been updated on January 11, 2021 to include a new statement issued to reporters by RAGA and new information about RAGA appearing on MarchtoSaveAmerica.com.
The Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), a 501(c)(4) arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), helped organize the protest preceding the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol that took place on January 6, 2021.
As a 501(c)(4), RLDF is not required to reveal its donors. RLDF has received at least $175,000 from the Koch-backed Freedom Partners. Other RLDF donors include Judicial Crisis Network, the Rule of Law Project, and the Edison Electric Institute.
RAGA is a 527 political organization that helps elect Republican attorneys general and can accept unlimited contributions from wealthy individuals and corporations. As previously reported by Documented, RAGA received significant funding from numerous corporations in 2020, 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).
RLDF appeared in a list of groups “Participating in the March to Save America” on the March to Save America website alongside entities including Stop the Steal, Turning Point Action, Tea Party Patriots and others. (MarchtoSaveAmerica.com has been taken down but an archived version of the website can be accessed through the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.)
RLDF also sent out a robocall detailing where and when the protest would take place.
“I'm calling for the Rule of Law Defense Fund with an important message,” the robocall stated. “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. 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. For more information, visit MarchtoSaveAmerica.com. This call is paid for and authorized by the Rule of Law Defense Fund, 202-796-5838.”
RLDF’s role in organizing the protests, which turned into a violent mob attack inside the Capitol, is ironic given its 2020 election campaign warning of “lawless liberal mobs'' burning down buildings and committing violence. The campaign, dubbed “Lawless Liberals”, came in the aftermath of the largely peaceful protests following the murder of George Floyd by police and the shooting of Jacob Blake.
“The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA)’s five-month Lawless Liberals video campaign repeatedly warned Americans about the dangerous reality of lawless liberals run amok in cities across the country,” RAGA said in a statement.
Republican attorneys general have been heavily involved in efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election. Shortly after Joe Biden was declared the winner, Republican attorneys general filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that sought to reject some mailed ballots in the state of Pennsylvania. Republican attorney general Ken Paxton--who has been embroiled in bribery, abuse of office and other criminal allegations--filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding four battleground states and alleging unconstitutional changes to their voting laws before the 2020 election. Prior to the protests, Paxton appeared on Fox News and said he hoped to be at both rallies.
RAGA and Republican attorneys general issued statements denouncing the violence. “The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) and the Republican attorneys general (AGs) stand together to condemn the violence, destruction, and rampant lawlessness occurring at the U.S. Capitol today. These actions are an affront to the rule of law, our Constitution, and our American political discourse.”
After Documented published the robocall, RAGA issued a statement to reporters: "Republican Attorneys General Association and Rule of Law Defense Fund had no involvement in the planning, sponsoring, or the organization of Wednesday’s event."
The Democratic Attorneys General Association revealed in a tweet RAGA originally appeared on the March to Save America website under "Coalition Partners". The website later took out RAGA and put in the Rule of Law Defense Fund under "Participating in the March to Save America".