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Mississippi Democratic Party calls on AG Fitch to recuse herself from welfare scandal investigation

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune.

(Photo from Commissioner Andy Gipson’s Facebook)

  • Fitch attended a pro-Trump rally last week where former Governor Phil Bryant was present. The Democratic Party says the AG’s “proximity to Bryant” is an issue.

The Chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party is calling on Attorney General Lynn Fitch (R) to recuse herself from the investigation involving the state’s welfare scandal after she appeared alongside former Governor Phil Bryant at a pro-Donald Trump rally last week.

Chairman Cheikh Taylor’s comments come one day after he and the Mississippi Democratic Party urged Mississippians to boycott the State Fair in October over the Trump rally hosted by Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson at the Ag Museum.

READ MORE: Mississippi Democrats call for State Fair boycott over Trump rally

The party stated in a release that Attorney General Fitch’s presence at the Trump rally with Bryant “is particularly troubling.”

State Rep. Cheikh Taylor, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party

“Bryant has been implicated in a high-profile scandal involving the misappropriation of welfare funds intended for the most vulnerable Mississippians, allegedly funneling money to high-profile figures, including former NFL quarterback Brett Favre,” the party’s release stated. “In light of Fitch’s evident bias and her proximity to Bryant, the Mississippi Democratic Party demands that Attorney General Lynn Fitch immediately recuse herself from the entire investigation involving the welfare scandal, including any investigations related to former Governor Phil Bryant.”

As has been previously noted by Magnolia Tribune, to date, Bryant has not been accused of, charged with, or convicted of any crime in relation to the welfare scandal.

Bryant is even suing a state media outlet – Mississippi Today – for defamation after their CEO boasted that they were “the newsroom that broke the story about $77 million in welfare funds intended for the poorest people in the poorest state in the nation being embezzled by a former governor and his bureaucratic cronies.”

Recently, Mississippi Today was ordered by a Madison County Circuit Court judge to identify sources and produce information related to statements its staff made against the former Governor, an order the outlet is appealing to the state Supreme Court.

READ MORE: Mississippi Today ordered to turn over sources in Bryant defamation suit, appeals to state Supreme Court

The Mississippi Democratic Party goes on to say that Attorney General Fitch’s “demonstrated bias in favor of Donald Trump raises serious concerns about her ability to impartially conduct investigations, especially those involving high-profile political figures.”

Chairman Taylor said Fitch and other state leaders, all Republicans, rallying in support of Trump show “a blatant disregard for justice and the ethical standards expected of public officials.”

“Attorney General Fitch’s close association with Phil Bryant at this event further undermines public trust,” Taylor added. “We must ensure that investigations are conducted fairly and without bias.”

Magnolia Tribune sought comment from Attorney General Fitch’s office regarding the call from the state Democratic Party, however, as is their practice related to active litigation, Fitch’s office declined to comment.

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Read original article by clicking here.

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