Group chaired by Chris Carr called Trump supporters to urge them to march to U.S. Capitol

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association. The group's fundraising arm, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, sent out a robocall that urged supporters of President Donald Trump to go to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, the day protesters ransacked the building. Five people were killed as a result of the melee. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)
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Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association. The group's fundraising arm, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, sent out a robocall that urged supporters of President Donald Trump to go to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, the day protesters ransacked the building. Five people were killed as a result of the melee. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)

Credit: David Barnes

Credit: David Barnes

Carr spokeswoman says AG unaware of group’s calls promoting ‘Stop the Steal’ rally

The fundraising arm of a group led by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr called on supporters of President Donald Trump to march to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to “stop the steal” following a “Save America” rally that preceded the deadly riot in Washington.

A spokeswoman for Carr said the attorney general “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 recorded call encouraged Trump supporters to go to the Capitol to demand that Congress block certification of the 2020 election, which Joe Biden won, including the results in Georgia.

“At 1 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” the robocall said. “We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections.”

The call concludes, “This call is paid for and authorized by the Rule of Law Defense Fund.”

The Rule of Law Defense Fund is the policy and fundraising arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, a powerful advocacy group for GOP state attorneys general that Carr chairs. The RAGA works to coordinate conservative legal strategies at the state level, while the RLDF is charged with electing Republicans to the powerful state-level posts.

On Wednesday, the RLDF was also listed as one of several sponsors of the “Save America” rally, where the president instructed tens of thousands of supporters on the national mall to “stop the steal” of the November election. He then told them to go to the Capitol.

State officials and Trump’s own attorney general have reported that no widespread voter fraud has been detected and courts have repeatedly shot down attempts to overturn Biden’s victory.

In a statement, the executive director of RAGA said the group did not sponsor the rally and that RLDF staff made the decision to support the event where Trump falsely insisted that he had won “by a landslide,” including in Georgia.

“The Republican Attorneys General Association and Rule of Law Defense Fund had no involvement in the planning, sponsoring or the organization of Wednesday’s event,” Adam Piper said. “No Republican AG authorized the staff’s decision to amplify a colleague speaking at the event. Organizationally and individually, we strongly condemn and disavow the events which occurred.”

Several requests for comment about the robocalls went unanswered.

In his hourlong speech at the rally Wednesday in the shadow of the Capitol, Trump raged against Georgia’s election results and ripped into Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for their refusal to overturn the outcome.

“They defrauded us out of a win in Georgia, and we’re not going to take it,” Trump said, adding later of Kemp and Raffensperger: “These people are crooked. They’re 100% in my opinion, one of the most corrupt. Between your governor and your secretary of state.”

In Carr’s role as Georgia’s attorney general, it has been his job to defend Georgia’s elections against court challenges.

The liberal investigative watchdog group Documented first reported the RLDF’s connection to Wednesday’s events.

The “Save America” rally brought tens of thousands of Trump supporters to Washington looking to overturn the 2020 election, which the president has repeatedly and wrongly claimed was fraudulent.

After the president’s remarks, supporters from the rally marched toward the Capitol at the president’s encouragement. Once there, more than 1,000 broke through barricades, clashed with U.S. Capitol Police, and ransacked the building, the seat of the U.S. government.

The mayhem temporarily stopped the process of certifying the election for Biden and sent members of Congress, staff and the media into lockdown.

Five people died as a result of the melee, including a Capitol Police officer.

Carr released a statement Wednesday condemning the violence.

On Friday, his spokeswoman added: “The stance of the protesters 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. He believes any individual involved in the violence should be held accountable and prosecuted.”