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Attorneys present evidence that AG Marshall violated the law

Gov. Robert Bentley shakes hands with new Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, after signing his appointment letter at the state Capitol in Montgomery, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. Marshall has served as the district attorney in Marshall County in north Alabama, appointed to the post in 2001 and re-elected three times. He is a past president of the Alabama District Attorney's Association and currently serves as commission chairman of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center.(Governor's Office, Jamie Martin)

Steve Marshall knowingly broke Alabama’s campaign finance laws, and he did so just months after arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of those laws, two Montgomery attorneys said Thursday morning.

Julian McPhillips and Melissa Isaak, who together sent a letter last week to Montgomery District Attorney Daryl Bailey asking that he present Marshall’s alleged crimes to a grand jury, held a press conference at which they distributed copies of a brief Marshall filed with the U.S. Supreme Court and other campaign finance documents.

The brief, which APR originally reported on two weeks ago, was prepared by Marshall in defense of Alabama’s ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers. In that filing, Marshall argues that the law is vitally important to maintaining the integrity of the election process, and calls it the “only legal protection standing between Alabama voters and the reality or appearance of quid pro quo corruption.”

Less than a year later, Marshall has accepted $735,000 in five payments from the Republican Attorneys General Association, which allows PAC-to-PAC transfers. Alabama’s law against those transfers states plainly that it applies to both in-state and out-of-state PACs, and it provides for up to a 20-year sentence for each violation.

“Mr. Marshall called our letter to the DA a stunt, but this is no stunt,” McPhillips said. “This is clear evidence that (Marshall) knowingly violated the law.”

In addition to Marshall’s acceptance of PAC-to-PAC money, McPhillips and Isaak also presented evidence that Marshall accepted more than $18,000 in in-kind services from RAGA, but he has failed to report it. That would also be a violation of state laws.

McPhillips and Isaak have called on Marshall to step away from the AG’s race. And they have asked Bailey to open an investigation and take the case to the grand jury.

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Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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