GOP Lawyer Denies Dem Claims That He Hinted At RNC Ballot Security Efforts

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A Republican lawyer is denying Democrats’ claim that he insinuated that the Republican National Committee was involved in potentially illegal local poll watcher training in Virginia.

The denial came in a court filing Friday in a case where the Democratic National Committee is alleging illegal RNC participation in so called “ballot security” initiatives.

Democrats has cited as evidence a poll watcher training conference call in which the Virginia Republican Party’s General Counsel Chris Marston had referenced “the folks RNC has hired on — um, to help them with,” before laughing and clarifying that the “RNC is not doing anything related to Election Day operations.”

The RNC filed an affidavit in response from Marston, explaining the comments.

Marston stressed that the RNC had not been involved with the local GOP poll worker training in Virginia. He also criticized the methods the DNC used to record the call — a local Democratic operative had signed up to volunteer as a elections monitor for the Trump campaign, while obscuring his Dem ties, according to court docs.

Marston said he found it “outrageous that the DNC apparently condones Frank Anderson’s misleading participation in this online program.”

The back-and-forth comes in a case concerning the consent decree the RNC agreed to in the early 1980s limiting its involvement in “ballot security” efforts. The Democrats have accused the RNC of violating the decree in connection with Trump’s calls for vigilante poll watchers, a claim the RNC has vigorously denied. If the federal judge presiding over the case sides with the DNC, the decree, which is set to expire in December 2017, could be extended for another eight years.

A hearing in the case was scheduled for Friday morning at 10 a.m.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.
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