Kansas City, Mo. – Two top aides from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office traveled to a summit last year where conservative Attorney General’s staff participated in a “war game” to plan how they might respond to the 2020 presidential election.
Records obtained by Kansas Reflector show that two assistants – Clint Bless and Jeff Chane – were approved to travel to Atlanta for a summit of senior staff at the Attorney General’s Office funded by the Republican Attorney’s Rule of Law Defense Fund. General Association. The group bears the cost of two assistants.
And while the program is referred to as training in travel authorization records in Schmidt’s office, records obtained by a former Democratic candidate for attorney general in Missouri show that the September event included a “huddle” referred to as a “war game,” where attendees planned it. Donald Trump may respond if he loses the election again. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
“For a series of conversations about what could happen if we lose the White House, 32 AG staff members are stuck in Atlanta,” said Adam Piper, executive director of RLDF. Email Addressed “General” on September 24, 2020.
The Law Protection Fund Rules were established in 2014 as “a forum for conservative attorney generals and their staff to study, discuss and engage in important legal policy issues affecting states”. For the first time since the 1812 war, the organization has been criticized for its role in the January 6 mob attack on the US Capitol.
In RoboCall, the organization provided details about the time and place of the march by protesters from the White House to the Capitol.
After the attack, Schmidt distanced himself from the RoboCall and protested the riots. His spokesman John Milburn, Told the Kansas Reflector in January He has not participated in any decision-making process with the group since August 2020, when he stopped serving on the group’s board. In an email last week, Milburn said Schmidt told the organization he was disappointed in RoboCall.
In response to a request for the Kansas Open Records Act, Schmidt’s office provided a handful of emails indicating that two employees had been approved to participate in the September event. While the RLDF funded all of their expenses, Schmidt’s office found that their presence would serve “a valid state purpose and interest,” meaning that if the RLDF did not fund the trip, Schmidt’s office, according to Chanay’s email.
Chane, the chief deputy attorney general, and Blaise, the communications director, were also allowed to think of those days in Atlanta as working days and did not need to use their vacation time.
Millburn describes the RLDF in exact terms the organization uses on its website – but leaves out the “conservative”.
“The purpose of the September staff meeting was to discuss possible legal responses from the state attorney general’s office or possible federal government actions in the Biden administration, as the state is actively defending the attorney general’s authority. States against illegal federal power-hubs during the Obama-Biden administration, “said Milburn.
Kathleen Clark, a professor at the University of Washington in St. Louis, said the wording of the emails provided in response to a request for Missouri records – a description of war games as an exercise in how President Joe Biden won the election – raised questions about accuracy. Of Milburn’s description.
Regardless, she said, the main problem is that the RLDF is a “fundamentally biased” organization.
“The whole point is that when government officials are behaving to the best of their ability, like the people in Missouri or the Kansas Attorney General’s Office who are attending the summit on official time, they should consider it.” We President Trump, or we, the Republicans, or we, the Democrats, will lose the White House, “Clark said.
Milburn did not respond to a follow-up email asking if the “war game” exercise involved any planning on how to fight the election.
RLDF did not respond to a request for comment.
Elad Gross, a former Democratic candidate for attorney general in Missouri, obtained thousands of pages of documents related to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt’s participation in the RLDF at the request of the Missouri Sunshine Law.
A similar request from Schmidt’s office in Kansas received little response.
In response to his Sunshine request, Gross received an initial 90-page communication between Schmidt’s office and the RLDF. Records met more than 30 delegates from the attorney general’s office for the “war game” in Atlanta, which Piper wrote “hopefully … doesn’t need to be used in November.”
Gross said Schmidt’s office in Missouri is still providing records, so further analysis remains to be done.
“There is no question that there was a clear coordinated effort between these different offices to challenge the election,” Gross said.
Both Schmidt and Schmidt joined the Attorney General’s trial, which overthrew the President. Biden’s victory. It was quickly rejected.
Kansas Reflector filed open record requests in March and May, and requested updates via email over the summer. KORA is required to provide clarification to public agencies, and estimates of how long it will take for the records to be created if authorities expect more than three days.
A 15-page record was issued last week.
Max Kautsch, Lawrence’s open records attorney, said it was “unfortunate” that the office failed to give applicants the approximate time that their record requests would be fulfilled, as required by law.
“I don’t understand why the attorney general’s office can’t respond to blank requests more quickly,” Kautsch said.