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AG’s office refuses to reveal Marshall’s whereabouts before or after Jan. 6

AG Steve Marshall’s office denied APR’s request for his calendar during the lead up to, and after, the Jan. 6 attack.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall speaks during a press conference on COVID-19 with Gov. Kay Ivey in April 2020. GOVERNOR's OFFICE/HAL YEAGER

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall won’t say where he was on the days leading up to and following the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

Marshall leads the Republican Attorneys General Association’s dark-money nonprofit Rule of Law Defense Fund, which paid for robocalls detailing when and where citizens should meet.

Then-Republican Attorneys General Association director Adam Piper attended a Jan. 5 meeting at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., along with Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama; Donald Trump Jr.; Eric Trump; Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; adviser Peter Navarro; Trump’s 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski; and 2016 deputy campaign manager David Bossie, according to Charles W. Herbster, who was then the national chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee in Trump’s administration.

“They discussed how to pressure more members of Congress to object to the Electoral College results that made Joe Biden the winner,” Herbster told The Omaha World-Herald about that Jan. 5 meeting. 

It’s unclear whether Marshall had any meetings with Trump, or Trump aides, in the days leading up to the failed insurrection. APR in a records request asked for Marshall’s scheduling records and calendars between Dec. 26, 2020, and Jan. 19. 

“Consistent with long-standing policy, this Office has determined that disclosure of these records may pose a security risk and are therefore privileged. I regret that I am unable to honor your request at this time,” wrote Marshall in a letter, which was also signed by Ben Baxley, chief of the opinions division in Marshall’s office. 

APR asked Mike Lewis, a spokesman with Marshall’s office, in a message how disclosing where Marshall had been several months ago could be considered a security concern, but Lewis hadn’t responded as of Tuesday morning. 

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APR wasn’t the first to request such records for Marshall. Daniel Tait, research and communication manager for the Energy and Policy Institute, in February asked Marshall’s office for his scheduling records from Dec. 26, 2020, through Jan. 12. 

“I requested records because EPI was reporting and researching on the Rule of Law Defense Fund, utilities, and members of Congress who had voted to overturn the election,” Tait told APR on Saturday. “Alabama Power had donated to RLDF in 2019 and since Marshall was the chairman, I wanted to know who had his ear leading up to the events of Jan. 6.”

Tait received the same response, denying his request, and shared the letter on Twitter. 

Piper resigned as director of the Republican Attorneys General Association on Jan. 12 following public scrutiny over those robocalls paid for by Marshall’s Rule of Law Defense Fund. 

Marshall in a statement to APR on Jan. 8 said he was unaware staff at group were involved in the Jan. 6 rally and that he’d ordered an “internal review” of the matter. Several months later it was unclear whether Marshall’s internal review had been completed. 

Tuberville through a spokesperson told APR he didn’t attend a Jan. 5 meeting with Trump’s sons and top aides, but after photos surfaced of Tuberville in the hotel that day, Tuberville later said he attended a Republican fundraiser at the hotel on Jan. 5. 

In the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, Marshall made numerous public statements alleging fraudulent votes and calling into question the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

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“We obviously have concerns about some of the issues, specifically of irregularities and fraud in other places,” Marshall told Newsmax on Nov. 13. Marshall was speaking about his decision to add Alabama to a list of states challenging mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. 

“To the extent that Americans can have a belief and a trust in the election results on Election Day then it’s hard to have faith in those leaders that will take over,” Marshall said on The Lars Larson Show on Nov. 16. Marshall went on to say that there was a possibility that the courts could throw out enough Pennsylvania ballots to flip that state to former President Donald Trump. 

Marshall on Nov. 20 spoke to another talk radio host about the Pennsylvania ballot challenge and said “when they change the rules midstream and we still don’t know the results, the people of America have a reason to question the validity and the authority of what’s taken place through this recent election.” 

Marshall on Dec. 9, 2020, announced Alabama would join a Texas lawsuit asking the United States Supreme Court to overturn election results in four states, which the Supreme Court rejected. 

Marshall joined several other Republican attorneys general at a meeting with Trump at the White House on Dec. 9. 

“The lunch with the attorneys general in the Cabinet Room, which was closed to the media, came a day after Republican attorneys general from 17 states filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Texas lawsuit,” NBC News reported. 

Marshall on Dec. 11 tweeted a photo of himself standing alongside Trump in the White House. 

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“One of the things we hope, with 17 of our colleagues coming together is that the court understands the significant importance of this,” Marshall said Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” morning show on Dec. 10. “All we’ve asked is that only legal ballots be counted. Texas has presented a very compelling argument that compels the court to take this case moving forward, and we’re to support the fact that this needs to be considered.”

“As we have seen nationally, those seeking to undermine the integrity of our elections remain with passionate energy,” Marshall said during the Alabama Electoral College ceremony.  

Marshall’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts show no posts from Dec. 31 until Jan. 6, when he tweeted a statement on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

“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. 

There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, according to Trump’s own former Attorney General William Barr, U.S. election officials and numerous failed lawsuits alleging any number of election misdeeds. Trump and his allies still claim without proof, massive voter fraud. 

Numerous Republican Attorneys General Association staffers resigned in the wake of the robocall matter, and after the association appointed as director Pete Bisbee, a man whom one outgoing staffer said was responsible for approving the robocalls. 

On Monday the first person convicted of a felony connected with entering the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6,  Paul Hodgkins of Florida, was sentenced to eight months in prison. 

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Russell Dean Alford of Hokes Bluff was arrested in March, becoming the seventh Alabamian charged in connection with the U.S. Capitol attack that left five dead, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.

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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