GOP AGs group promotes operative behind robocalls urging march to Capitol

A pro-Donald Trump mob storms the U.S. Capitol following a rally with the then-president on Jan. 6 in Washington. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images/TNS)
Caption
A pro-Donald Trump mob storms the U.S. Capitol following a rally with the then-president on Jan. 6 in Washington. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Vote comes after Georgia AG Carr steps down as chairman

A political operative whose organization sent out robocalls urging Donald Trump supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol before the deadly Jan. 6 attack was chosen Thursday to lead a prominent GOP group.

The board of the Republican Attorneys General Association voted to confirm Peter Bisbee as its new executive director. He was head of RAGA’s policy arm, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, when it financed robocalls pressing its backers to “stop the steal” at the Capitol before it was stormed by a mob.

The vote sheds new light on why Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who was chairman of the overall organization, abruptly stepped down as the group’s leader this month. His resignation letter cited a “significant difference of opinion” in the organization’s direction following the robocalls, referencing the departure of the group’s executive director, Adam Piper, who resigned shortly after reports of the robocalls surfaced.

“The fundamental difference of opinion began with vastly opposite views of the significance of the events of January 6 and the resistance by some to accepting the resignation of the executive director,” Carr wrote in the April 16 letter obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In a statement Thursday after the board’s vote, Carr said he accepted Piper’s resignation, ordered an audit and investigation, “imposed new controls” and began a search for a new executive director after the robocalls.

“I felt we needed to go in a new direction,” he said. “Some in the organization did not believe this was necessary. Based on what I know, I had no other choice but to step down as chairman and as a member of the executive committee.”

On Thursday, the Alabama Political Reporter also reported that the Republican AG group’s finance director resigned in protest of Bisbee’s hire.

A spokesman for the GOP group didn’t comment on the resignations, though he said the organization would continue to fight the “radical overreach of the Biden Administration.”

Carr’s spokeswoman has repeatedly said he had no knowledge or involvement in the robocalls, which were promoted by the Rule of Law Defense Fund. He’s also condemned the violence at the Capitol and joined other AGs who declared that “such actions will not be allowed to go unchecked.”

Carr’s decision to distance himself from RAGA comes as he weighs a challenge to U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, a newly elected Democrat who is standing for a full six-year term in November 2022. The Republican also faces a tough campaign for a second term if he decides to run for reelection as attorney general.

Two prominent Democrats have already announced challenges: Charlie Bailey, who narrowly lost to Carr in 2018, and state Sen. Jen Jordan, who represents a slice of suburban Atlanta. Both have framed Carr’s resignation as an attempt to distract voters from the group’s role in the insurrection.

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