Attorney General Eric Schmitt was not aware of the robocall sent by the fundraising group of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) encouraging people to march at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — a day that turned deadly when rioters supporting President Trump stormed the building.
Schmitt is the vice chairman of the RAGA.
The Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), which serves as a fundraising arm of and shares staff members with the RAGA, sent out a robocall encouraging people to “march to the Capitol” and urge lawmakers to “stop the steal,” according to NBC News. “Stop the steal” has been the rallying cry for supporters of the president who believe widespread election fraud occurred last year to hand the presidency to Democrat Joe Biden.
The rally in Washington, D.C., attended by state Rep. Justin Hill, turned deadly when hoards of people stormed the U.S. Capitol. Some were photographed carrying zip ties; others were pictured destroying or stealing property.
But five people, including a Capitol police officer, lost their lives because of the riot.
In a statement provided to The Missouri Times, a spokesperson said Schmitt had no knowledge of the call.
“Attorney General Schmitt absolutely had no knowledge of or involvement in the robocall, and condemns the violence that took place on Wednesday in the strongest possible terms, period,” Chris Nuelle said.
In a Jan. 6 tweet, Schmitt said: “Every American has a right to peacefully protest but violence and lawlessness simply cannot be tolerated. Please join me in praying for the Capitol Police and other law enforcement today in Washington, D.C.”
Last month, Schmitt threw his weight behind another state’s legal challenge of the 2020 presidential election in four battleground states. His office filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, leading 16 other states in support of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s challenge of the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The challenge was ultimately unsuccessful.
“Free and fair elections that we have here in the United States are the envy of the world,” he said during an appearance on “This Week in Missouri Politics” in December. “Election integrity is very important so one of my jobs as attorney general is to defend that principle, and when we see that question in other places, it’s important for me to stand up and fight.”
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, who is in charge of the RLDF, told NBC News he also did not know about the calls.
Jan. 6 was also the first day of the legislative session for the Missouri General Assembly. Leadership in both chambers on both sides of the aisle was quick to condemn the violence in the nation’s capital.
“It’s domestic terrorism — might as well call it what it is,” Senate Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden told reporters. “I think the folks that are using this method to try and prove a point are doing way more damage than they could even comprehend. … We’ve been divided for so long, and everybody is to blame for completely different reasons.”
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.