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Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt distances himself from robocalls encouraging rally attendance

Andrew Bahl
Topeka Capital-Journal
A spokesperson for Attorney General Derek Schmidt said he was unaware of robocalls backed by an arm of the Republican Attorney General’s Association that encouraged people to march to the U.S. Capitol the day before it was stormed by rioters.

A spokesperson for Attorney General Derek Schmidt said he was unaware of robocalls backed by an arm of the Republican Attorney General’s Association that encouraged people to march to the U.S. Capitol the day before it was stormed by rioters.

Schmidt is a member of RAGA and tax filings show he is a former director of its offshoot responsible for the robocalls, the Rule of Law Defense Fund. John Milburn, Schmidt’s spokesperson, said the attorney general has not had any involvement with the group since stepping down from its board in August of last year.

Schmidt was unaware of the robocalls until media reports surfaced in recent days, Milburn said, and has since “let the current leadership know of his disappointment and strong disapproval.”

Milburn referred The Topeka Capital-Journal to a statement Schmidt put out condemning the insurrection on Wednesday, when rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol and five individuals, including a Capitol police officer, died.

“The lawlessness at the U.S. Capitol today is sickening, shameful, inexcusable and counterproductive,” Schmidt said at the time.

The calls did not advocate violence or encourage demonstrators to storm the building, according to a recording obtained by NBC News.

“At 1 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” the voice on the recording was reported as saying.

The current head of the RLDF, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, denied knowledge of the group’s involvement in the robocalls and said he has “directed an internal review of this matter.” 

In December, Schmidt signed on to a brief supporting a lawsuit filed in Texas, which sought to overturn results in several key swings states on the basis of unsubstantiated reports of election fraud.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the lawsuit, prompting Schmidt to say it was time to “put this election behind us.”