The Georgia State Ethics Commission will summon bank records from the 2018 governorial campaign of Stacey Abrams and several other groups that raised money to assist her candidacy.
David Emadi, a former Douglas County prosecutor who became head of the State Ethics Commission Monday, announced on Thursday that, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he will shortly call for Abrams ‘ governing campaign, various political action committees and special interest groups to support her failed campaign.
“What I can say about the investigation into the Abrams campaign is in the relatively near future, I expect we will be issuing subpoenas for bank and finance records of both Miss Abrams and various PACs and special-interest groups that were affiliated with her campaign,” Emadi said to reporters on Thursday.
It is not immediately clear for what specifically Abrams ‘ camp is being investigated, and the new director has not given much detail on the matter.
The Ethics Commission, formally known as the Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission for the Government of Georgia, is responsible for collecting reports on lobbying, vendor grift and campaign financing. The Commission is also responsible for imposing penalties for any breaches of these issues.
The announcement was hit hard by the former campaign manager of Abrams.
“This is Kemp’s corrupt playbook, his long history of launching frivolous investigations with bogus charges against political opponents,” Lauren Groh-Wargo said Thursday in a series of tweets, claiming Emadi to be a Kemp ally and the investigation a partisan hit job. “This is a shameful misuse of taxpayer dollars for a political vendetta. We will fight false accusations with every available resource.”
Because there were over a dozen “independent groups” in support of the Abrams 2018 campaign, most of them funded by non-state donors, Emadi said the investigation would take time as the Commission scrutinized all the reports.
News of the inquiry comes as Abrams, the Georgia House’s former Minority Leader, mulls not only a Georgia 2020 Senate bid, but also a possible run for the White House.
Her failed government campaign against now-Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp attracted national attention and remained in the national spotlight as she continues to claim, without evidence, that Kemp used his former position as Secretary of State of Georgia to maliciously tilt the election in his favor.
The latest Georgia survey shows that the popularity of Abrams is falling in her home state. The Democrat’s favorability has dropped seven percentage points since January, while her unfavorable rating has risen by five percentage points. At the same time, ticked up the favorability of Kemp.
“This new ethics investigation into Stacey Abrams is just the latest episode of her skirting the rules to further her personal political ambitions. This cloud of scandal will linger as she decides whether to embark on another failed campaign,” Nathan Brand, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, stated Thursday.
Abrams said she could wait for a presidential bid to decide until the fall.