Georgia ethics commission files lawsuit over Abrams emails

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia ethics commission filed a lawsuit Friday seeking communications between Democrat Stacey Abrams’ unsuccessful 2018 campaign for governor and several third-party organizations.

But Abrams’ former campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said they’ve already turned over thousands of financial records. She called the investigation politically motivated.

The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission filed the motion in Fulton County Superior Court as part of an investigation accusing the Abrams campaign of “unlawful coordination” with an outside organization.

The commission said Abrams’ campaign hasn’t complied with subpoenas issued last spring seeking communications between the campaign and several outside groups, including some focused on voter registration and turnout.

Abrams narrowly lost last year’s gubernatorial race to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

The head of the ethics commission, David Emadi, is a former county prosecutor who was active in the local Republican Party and had donated $600 to Kemp’s campaign for governor.

Groh-Wargo has denied that any unlawful coordination took place. She said on Twitter that Emadi “is demanding campaign communications that are irrelevant.” She said “there is no precedent or legal justification for a political patron of a sitting governor to demand all of an opponent’s campaign communications.”

A message left with Emadi’s office Friday afternoon was not immediately returned. Emadi previously said: “The Commission is an independent, nonpartisan agency and partisanship plays no role in our investigations. Claims to the contrary are false.”