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Another GOP attorneys general group leader resigns amid Capitol attack fallout

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall leads the association’s dark-money fundraising arm, which aided in planning the Jan. 6 rally.

Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP PHOTO/JOSE LUIS MAGANA)

Another longtime staff member at the Republican Attorneys General Association has resigned amid fallout from the group’s involvement in the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

Some of the departures follow the association’s appointment as director Pete Bisbee, a man whom one outgoing staffer said was responsible for approving robocalls urging attendance at the Jan. 6 rally. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall heads the association’s dark money fundraising arm, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, which funded the robocalls. 

Jason Heath, RAGA’s director of operations, announced his resignation in an April 25 letter obtained and reported by The Center for Media and Democracy on Tuesday. 

“After 8 years of service, I am writing to inform you that I have made the difficult decision to resign as RAGA’s Director of Operations. I respect your votes, but the direction is not one I can honestly stand behind,” Heath wrote. 

Ashley Trenzeluk, RAGA’s finance director, resigned in an email to RAGA attorneys generals, echoing Health’s concerns over the direction the association was headed: 

“Generals, 

“Following my verbal resignation with Nick Maddux and General Marshall this past weekend I’m writing to let you know that I’m resigning as RAGA’s Finance Director. 

“As RLDF Executive Director, Pete Bisbee approved the robocall expenditure, and was the only other person accountable for RLDF involvement in the January 6 events. Over the last few months, I have fielded, reassured and assuaged concerns from our core donor base on the future direction of our organization. The result of the executive committee vote to nominate Pete as RAGA’s Executive Director is a decision I cannot defend. 

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“I’ve Fundraised for Republican AG’s and RAGA for the last six years, and have enjoyed getting to know all of you, your teams and fundraisers and the donors who have supported us. My top priority has always been to raise as many resources as possible to achieve our main mission to elect and reelect Republican AG’s. I’m truly proud of my team and what we’ve been able to accomplish over the past cycles.” 

Kelly Laco, RAGA’s former communications director, left the association in March, according to her Linkedin account. Attempts to reach Laco on Tuesday were unsuccessful. 

Prior to the protest, RLDF sent out robocalls detailing when and where citizens should meet, which was first reported by the watchdog investigative journalism group Documented

“We will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” the robocall says, as recorded by Documented. “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.” 

Adam Piper, the former RAGA director, told APR in January that the group had no role in planning the rally, but he later resigned on Jan. 12. 

Charles Herbster, who was then the national chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee in Trump’s administration, placed Piper at a Jan. 5 meeting with top Trump aides and sons at Trump’s Washington D.C. hotel.

Marshall, in a Jan. 8 message to APR, said he had no knowledge of his organization’s role in the robocalls and said he had “directed an internal review of this matter.” 

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Neither Marshall nor a RAGA spokesman has responded to APR’s numerous requests for information regarding the internal review in recent weeks. 

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr in an April 16 letter, reported by Bloomberg, resigned as RAGA chairman and left the association altogether. 

Carr wrote that the association was deeply divided by a “fundamental difference of opinion” that began with “vastly opposite views of the significance of the events of January 6,” according to Bloomberg. 

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has replaced Carr as chairman, according to RAGA’s website. Schmitt and the Republican attorney general from Kansas in December filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the presidential election in four states, alleging incorrectly that rampant voter fraud influenced the election. Marshall signed on to the legal brief. The U.S. Supreme Court quickly dismissed the lawsuit. 

Allegations of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election were investigated and dismissed by state election officials, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. attorney general and the U.S. Department of Justice. 

An Alabama man and Trump supporter, Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, died from a heart attack amid the chaos on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Five Alabamians were arrested and face charges connected to the Capitol attack. 

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Eddie Burkhalter
Written By

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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