Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall plays a critical role in the group that helped organize the protest and rally that preceded the riots, attack and attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Marshall leads the Republican Attorneys General Association’s dark-money nonprofit Rule of Law Defense Fund, which is listed as a participating organization for the March to Save America on the march’s website, as are the groups Stop the Steal, Tea Party Patriots and Turning Point Action.
The website is now down, but archived versions show RLDF as a participating group.
“I am honored to lead RAGA’s policy branch, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, and bring conservative attorneys general together in promotion of federalism, freedom, and the rule of law,” Marshall said in a Nov. 10 statement to RAGA.
Prior to the protest, RLDF sent out robocalls detailing when and where citizens should meet, which was first reported by Documented.
“I’m calling for the Rule of Law Defense Fund with an important message,” the robocall stated, according to Documented. “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.”
Marshall on Wednesday issued a statement condemning the violence at the Capitol but did not mention his role leading a group that helped organize the march.
“I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the actions of those who today attempted to storm the Capitol, a place where passionate but peaceful protestors had gathered and lawmakers debated inside,” Marshall said in the statement. “Our country is built upon the foundation of the rule of law. American democracy guarantees the right of peaceful protest. Those who chose to engage in violence and anarchy should and will be held accountable under the law.
“I stand by the brave men and women of law enforcement as they work to restore order. God bless the Capitol Police and all members of law enforcement who, as always, have showed such great courage in protecting their fellow man.”
Wednesday’s riots resulted in one woman’s death after she was shot by police while entering the Capitol, and the deaths of three others due to “medical emergencies” during the riot, including one Alabama man, Kevin Greeson of Athens. Another Alabama man, 70-year-old Lonnie Coffman of Falkvillle, was arrested near the Capitol and charged with firearms crimes. The New York Times reported a 70-year-old man was arrested with a gun and ingredients to make Molotov cocktails.
Marshall has supported President Donald Trump’s challenges to the outcome of the November election and signed Alabama on to a failed election lawsuit, filed by Texas, aiming to overturn the election results. Marshall has shared in Trump and his supporters’ allegations of election fraud, which have been debunked numerous times. Numerous other court cases seeking to overturn results in battleground states have been dismissed.
Marshall on Dec. 14 spoke during the meeting of Alabama’s presidential electors, saying that while Alabama overwhelmingly voted for Trump “the vote in other states has been much less conclusive.”
“The state of Alabama has been fighting on the front lines of election integrity, and we will continue to do so,” Marshall said.
“Let us celebrate what Alabama has achieved, but let us not rest, because as we have seen nationally, those seeking to undermine the integrity of our elections remain with passionate energy,” Marshall continued.
RLDF has not issued a statement on Wednesday’s violence and attempts to contact Marshall through RLDF and his office weren’t immediately successful Thursday.
In a statement to APR after this story published, RAGA’s executive director Adam Piper said neither RAGA nor RLDF was involved with the planning of the rally and seemed to place the blame on staff.
“The Republican Attorneys General Association and Rule of Law Defense Fund had no involvement in the planning, sponsoring, or the organization of yesterday’s rally,” Piper said in the statement. “No Republican AG authorized the staff’s decision to amplify a colleague speaking at the rally. Organizationally and individually, we strongly condemn and disavow the events which occurred. Yesterday was a dark day in American history and those involved in the violence and destruction of property must be prosecuted and held accountable.”