Progress Michigan is releasing hundreds of Attorney General Bill Schuette's emails dating back to almost a decade.
The liberal advocacy group claimed in a lawsuit that Schuette was using his personal email to work on his political campaign illegally.
The emails were allegedly sent to his staff during business hours from his personal email account.
Campaigning on state time is illegal according to Michigan State law.
Schuette and his staff say that any campaign-related emails sent were not on state time.
"There is no way, I'm sorry, there is no way the scope of the political activity on state time could go on without him knowing in his service," said attorney Mark Brewer, who is representing Progress Michigan.
The group claims it proves what was happening inside the attorney general's office was illegal.
"This is against Michigan state law. And we believe the public has a right to know that this has been taking place," said Progress Michigan Executive Director Lonnie Scott. "Taxpayers, essentially, have been subsidizing staff that have been doing political work for the attorney general and supporting his campaigns."
Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, who is one of three Republicans running against Schuette, said it is no surprise.
"It's just another example of the abuse of the Office of the Attorney General," he said Wednesday. "It's something that's been kind of an open secret around town for a long time, to the level that that office is politicized."
Critics argue, the release of emails just days before the Aug. 7 primary is questionable. And Attorney General Bill Schuette agreed.
"This is again, just desperation politics at its worst. I've got Democrats attacking me who don't want to face me in November. They know I'm the strongest candidate and I can win. The Republicans are desperately behind and I've had everything, including the kitchen sink, thrown at me," Schuette said.
Michigan's Attorney General is being sued for reportedly operating what is described as a "political enterprise" out of his state office. Schuette asked for a protective order on Monday to delay subpoenas for requests on emails, like that were released Wednesday.
Republican opponent Patrick Colbeck released the following statement on the allegations:
“It is clear from the information that continues to be disclosed about Bill Schuette that he will be a liability to all Republicans in November. Republicans, Independents and Democrats are tired of politics-as-usual. They want solutions. That is why the MI Democratic Party Chair, Brandon Dillon says I am the candidate that he does not want to face in November. My Principled Solutions are uniting citizens across the state. That is why our grassroots support is so strong. That is also why the same analytical method that predicted Trump’s victory in Michigan forecasts that we will win the GOP nomination on August 7.”
FOX 47 is still awaiting a request on comments from the Hines campaign.
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