Sep 23, 2022 - Politics

Group questions Arkansas attorney general's ethics with complaint

A portrait of Arkansas attorney general, Leslie Rutledge.

Photo courtesy of attorney general's office

The 65 Project, a nonpartisan group, filed an ethics complaint against 15 state attorneys general, including Arkansas' Leslie Rutledge, on Wednesday.

  • The group claims the AGs used their offices to advance unfounded claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent.

Why it matters: With the midterms just weeks away, the narrative that the last general election was rigged persists, and studies show that misinformation about the election system is eroding the public's confidence in democracy.

Context: Rutledge was part of a coalition of 10 AGs that filed an amicus brief in November 2020 urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court allowing mail-in ballots received three days after Election Day 2020 to be counted.

  • Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin were key states that helped decide the election for President Joe Biden.

Details: Each of the 15 complaints filed by the 65 Project are at the state level — in Rutledge's case, with Arkansas' Office of the Committee on Professional Conduct.

  • Other states where AGs received ethics complaints were: Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.

What they're saying: "Ms. Rutledge played an important role — lending the legal profession's credibility to the destructive cause and using public office to amplify false assertions and frivolous claims that lacked any basis in law or fact," according to the complaint.

  • A spokesperson for Rutledge shared via email: "We are aware of a complaint filed against 15 Republican attorneys general."

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