On Wednesday, before a pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol, robocalls went out urging “patriots” to come to Washington and “fight” the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
The call furthered the same lies that are abundant on conspiratorial Facebook pages and far-right message boards — that the election was stolen from Donald Trump. Even without the benefit of hindsight, it is clear the message was meant to incite the crowd. The tone and verbiage make that much clear.
But it didn’t come from a cell of alt-right insurrectionists. Worse, it was sponsored by a political committee affiliated with the Republican Attorneys General Association.
To be clear, the Rule of Law Defense Fund — a group that represents the Republicans tasked with being the top law enforcement officers in 26 states — is affiliated with a message encouraging lawlessness in our nation’s capital.
Florida’s Attorney General, Ashley Moody, is a Republican. She is not only a member of RAGA, but a member of the association’s Executive Committee. She also, until recently, proudly mentioned her Rule of Law Defense Fund board seat in her official bio on the Florida Attorney General website.
She may claim that she had no knowledge of the calls. She may follow the lead of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, the chair of the Rule of Law Defense Fund, and say the calls were the result of “unauthorized decisions” by committee staff.
Moody has shown she is comfortable defending Trump. She even signed onto a frivolous lawsuit to subvert a manifestly open and fair election — an effort that had zero chance of success and only served to keep her name out of Trump’s post-coup Sonderfahndungsbuch.
This call runs counter to everything Moody, and every Attorney General, should stand for. It was bad enough that RAGA Executive Director Adam Piper resigned his post in disgrace.
As Moody so often reminds us, she is the wife of a law enforcement officer. This call may not have been the spark, but it was one of a thousand pieces of kindling that led to the death of a Capitol Police officer.
It’s good, for Moody’s sake, that our justice system doesn’t recognize guilt by association. But it seems a fitting system for our court of public opinion in the post-Trump era.