An organization linked to the group responsible for robocalls urging recipients to march on the US Capitol last week gave more than $1 million to Hoosiers seeking office in 2020.
The Republican Attorneys General Association’s Action Fund provided $944,600 to Todd Rokita’s recent AG campaign. Rokita was sworn into office Monday.
His campaign spokesman declined an interview, but insisted Rokita had no involvement or knowledge of the calls.
First reported by the watchdog group Documented, the Rule of Law Defense Fund placed calls urging recipients to “stop the steal.”
“At one o’clock p.m. we will march to the Capitol Building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” the recording stated. “We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue the fight to protect the integrity of our election.”
The Republican Attorneys General Association is legally separate from the Rule of Law Defense Fund responsible for the robocalls, but the two are located at the same address in Washington D.C. and both share multiple employees including an executive director.
The fund contributed $85,000 during the primary to Indiana’s now former attorney general Curtis Hill. Rule of Law’s most recently available 990 tax document required of nonprofit organizations lists Hill as an unpaid director.
Both Rokita and Hill denied having knowledge of the group’s calls.
In a statement Hill wrote, “It is my understanding that my colleague and the current chairman of RLDF [Rule of Law Defense Fund], Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, has initiated an investigation into the matter, and I am confident this issue will be properly addressed in due course.”
Hill wrote he was “unaware of any wrongdoing on the part of RLDF.”
Rokita’s spokesman did not provide a specific statement, but referred back a statement issued over the weekend.
Indiana’s new top law enforcement officer conducted a self-described “experiment in free speech.”
On Jan. 8 — one day after the insurrection at the US Capitol in which five people were killed —Rokita tweeted, “I will always be for our President.” The post then tagged the now suspended handle of President Trump and still active handle for Trump’s deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino.
The next day, Rokita issued a statement explaining his tweet and condemning the violence.
“I tweeted my support for the President and waited to see if a ban would occur on my own account,” Rokita wrote. “Although a ban on my account has not yet occurred as many others have experienced, we confront an important question at this time in our nation about the extent to which we allow tech companies to control speech.”
WFIU/WTIU Researcher, Cathy Knapp contributed reporting.