The attempts of several operatives to link fake Russian bots to Roy Moore during last year’s Alabama Senate special election is now being reviewed by the state’s attorney general in the wake of concerns that they may have violated campaign finance laws, Fox News informed.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall did not want to name this as an actual investigation but stated that his office is reviewing this matter.
Marshall also stated that the actions might have had a great impact on the results of the race, where Democrat Doug Jones won 20,000 more votes than Roy Moore.
“The impact it had on the election is something that’s significant for us to explore, and we’ll go from there,” Marshall said. “We’re planning to explore the issue further.”
Marshall’s remarks come a day after liberal Silicon Valley billionaire Reid Hoffman apologized for financing the group associated with these shameful acts.
Democratic agents might have opened thousands of fake Russian accounts on Twitter and started following Moore, getting the attention from local and national media that falsely suggested Russia is supporting Moore’s candidacy. There was also a Facebook page involved which showed dissatisfaction with the Republican candidate, encouraging others to write in another candidate.
Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, is one of Silicon Valley’s top donors to the Democratic campaigns and PACs. In the last election cycle he donated $7 million to Democratic groups, though his money also flows into non-traditional groups that are not mandated to report their funding and often operate in the shadows.
One such group is American Engagement Technologies (AET), a firm run by former Obama appointee Mikey Dickerson, which received $750,000 from Hoffman and was part of the effort to falsely portray the Republican’s senate bid as being supported by the Kremlin.
“I find the tactics that have been recently reported highly disturbing. For that reason, I am embarrassed by my failure to track AET – the organization I did support – more diligently as it made its own decisions to perhaps fund projects that I would reject,” he said in a statement provided to the Washington Post.
“I want to be unequivocal: there is absolutely no place in our democracy for manipulating facts or using falsehoods to gain political advantage,” he added.
The disinformation campaign was first revealed by the New York Times that obtained an internal report detailing the efforts.