Disinformation campaign may have violated law, attorney general says
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Thursday that his office is exploring whether disinformation tactics deployed against Republican Roy Moore during last year’s special election violated state campaign laws and said he was worried that the operation could have affected the closely fought Senate race.
“The information is concerning,” Marshall, a Republican, said in a phone interview. “The impact it had on the election is something that’s significant for us to explore, and we’ll go from there.”
Moore lost the election to Democrat Doug Jones.
Marshall, who said he learned of the disinformation campaign called Project Birmingham through news reports over the past two weeks, stopped short of announcing a formal investigation but said his office was beginning to gather information about the effort.
“We’re planning to explore the issue further,” Marshall said.
Jones on Thursday also reiterated his support for a federal investigation into the matter, days after the Democratic senator said the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice should probe the effects of disinformation on the race. The Democratic senator said Thursday he had directed his team “to prepare a formal request to file with the appropriate federal authorities who have jurisdiction over these matters.”
“Illegal influence operations are a serious threat to our democracy, regardless of where these activities originate or who they seek to support,” Jones said.
The FEC did not respond to a request for comment.