Lauren Cassedy, a spokeswoman for Moody, said the state’s top law enforcement officer had “no prior knowledge” of the organization’s involvement in building the uprising on Wednesday, the Times reported.
Cassedy also stated that Moody left the board of the Rule of Law Defense Fund last year despite being unable to provide a departure date or explain why the reference to the group had been removed from the website.
“As you know, Attorney General Moody was quick to condemn Wednesday’s violence and continues to do so,” said Cassedy.
In a tweet on the afternoon of the riot, Moody described violence against law enforcement as “unacceptable” and added: “Anyone who attacks an official should be brought to justice. She did not make a statement expressing the attack on Congress sentenced, the Times reported.
References to Moody’s involvement in the Rule of Law Defense Fund were first published in her official state biography in October 2019, citing an archived version of her website, according to the Times.
“Since taking office as Attorney General, Moody has been recognized as a national leader, appointed to the Executive Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General and the Board of Directors of the Rule of Law Defense Fund,” the biography reads.
In November, the organization posted a video on its website by Moody chairing a panel discussion with two other Republican attorneys general about Trump’s impact on federal courts.
Although Moody has since distanced herself from the Rule of Law Defense Fund, she remains closely associated with its affiliate, the Republican Attorneys General Association, a group committed to electing GOP candidates to attorney general.
The Republican Attorneys General Association donated more than $ 1 million to Moody’s Political Committee in 2018 – 20% of their committee’s total fundraiser during their successful campaign for the office. In November she was appointed to the club’s executive committee.
Moody has also taken a leading role in Trump’s legal battle against the election. She joined 16 other Republican attorneys general in asking the US Supreme Court to open a lawsuit in Texas that would have dismissed election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The Supreme Court rejected the case.
Moody, 45, is a former Circuit Court judge at Hillsborough County’s 13th Judicial Circuit and was once sued by Trump in a fraud case that included a failed promise to bring a Trump Tower to Tampa, a fact reported by her Republican opponents was highlighted in her elementary school in 2018.
But since taking office in 2019, Moody has become a loyal Trump surrogate mother who stands up for him and uses her office to step up his litigation. For example, in May last year, Moody, along with 14 other Republican attorneys-general, urged the federal government to end the case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
It’s unclear how the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a nonprofit arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, made a major contribution to the uprising last week.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, chairman of the organization, told the Montgomery Advertiser that the employees were to blame and vowed to investigate.
“It is unacceptable that I was neither consulted nor informed about these decisions. I have conducted an internal review of this matter, “Marshall told the advertiser in a statement. On Monday, the executive director of the Republican Bar Association, Adam Piper, resigned, according to NBC News.
The website for March to Save America, which organized the Capitol Riot last week, listed the Rule of Law Defense Fund as one of the participating organizations. This is evident from a graphic on the event’s website that has since been deleted and has been preserved on the Internet archive.
Other participants included Stop the Steal, an online coalition of pro-Trump conspirators and other far-right activists accused of leading the mob to prevent Congress from confirming Biden’s election victory.
The Rule of Law Defense Fund website states that it was created in 2014 to promote “the rule of law, federalism and freedom in a civil society”. Its emergence coincided with the increasing politicization of attorneys general among Republican-led states, who often used their pulpits to challenge President Barack Obama’s democratic agenda such as the Affordable Care Act.
Attempts to contact the organization on a phone number on the 2017 tax return were not returned.
Moody’s office declined to provide details of her tenure with the Rule of Law Defense Fund.
Information provided by the Tribune News Service was used to supplement this report.