Abrams campaign calls ethics lawsuit requesting documents from her run partisan

Stacey Abrams
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Stacey Abrams’ campaign called a lawsuit filed by a state ethics commission about her 2018 gubernatorial run “partisan.”

Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams’s former campaign manager, tweeted that the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission informed the campaign that it would be filing a lawsuit against the campaign to obtain its personal communications.

Groh-Wargo called the communications “irrelevant” to the “bogus and politically motivated investigation” based on “accusations seemingly made up out of thin air.” She noted in a Twitter thread that the head of the commission, David Emadi, was a campaign donor for Abrams’s opponent and current governor, Brian Kemp (R).

“Why are we fighting back?” she tweeted. “An ‘ethics’ chief should not be allowed to seize private communications from the political rival of a man he helped put in office, with no stated rationale or evidence for doing so.”

The commission is requesting the communications for its investigation into the “unlawful coordination” between Abrams’s campaign and several groups, including ones that aimed to increase voting access, The Guardian reported. The subpoenaed communications would include back-and-forth between the campaign and groups like the New Georgia Voter Project and Fair Count, both founded by the gubernatorial candidate.

“[T]he Commission has reason to believe that a third party group gave a substantial amount of money directly to New Georgia Project, and those funds were then used throughout the course of the 2018 election to make independent expenditures that expressly advocated election or defeat of Stacey Abrams,” the lawsuit reads, according to The Guardian.

Emadi told The Hill that the lawsuit does not target Abrams’s campaign.

“I understand the media and public’s interest in this case, given that it involves a former candidate for Governor, but the simple fact is this case is the same as any other case our office investigates,” he said in an email.

“Our agency audits and investigates hundreds of cases a year, we regularly issue subpoenas, and the Abrams campaign has refused to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas.”

Emadi added that he could not “specify” any “details or factual elements” from the case until it closes. 

Abrams faced Kemp last year in Georgia in a contentious gubernatorial race. As secretary of state, Kemp enforced one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the country. 

More than 3,600 financial records were provided to the commission in May, according to The Associated Press.

Tags 2018 election Georgia Lawsuit Subpoena

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