Austin Knudsen

Knudsen suing attorneys general group

Montana Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen has followed through on his threat to sue the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), a nonprofit organization of state prosecutors. Knudsen filed a lawsuit in Montana District Court, alleging that NAAG’s handling of public funds violates the Constitution of the State of Montana. He is calling for an audit and for the group to return state funds it is holding and investing without proper oversight. Knudsen’s lawsuit comes after accusations of woke ideology and fiscal mismanagement were leveled against NAAG, leading to a loss of GOP support.

Critics have accused NAAG of banking money from consumer protection settlements and mismanaging funds from investments and dues collected from states. Additionally, it is claimed that the organization promotes liberal causes while stifling conservative members’ voices. The group has seen a decline in revenues and membership since several Republican attorneys general left in the past year. The lawsuit filed by Knudsen demands transparency from NAAG, including the amount of Montana’s funds they possess and how the money has been invested.

In a letter to NAAG earlier this year, Knudsen expressed his concerns about the organization’s financial practices and its investments in companies promoting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies. Critics argue that these policies conflict with the values of residents in red states. Ohio Republican Attorney General Dave Yost, the newly elected president of NAAG, encouraged Republicans to stay involved with the organization rather than walking away, to ensure bipartisan representation and prevent progressive influence.

Knudsen stated that NAAG has been uncooperative and has attempted to ignore his requests for accountability. The lawsuit aims to make NAAG subject to the strict accountability requirements of the Montana Constitution and the Montana Code. It also seeks an accounting of assets under NAAG’s management to determine the amount of public funds held. Supporters of the legal action applaud the efforts to hold NAAG accountable and ensure that funds from consumer protection cases benefit the states and their consumers as intended.

NAAG responded to the lawsuit, stating that it continues to work with its members and executive committee to address the claims and vigorously defend against them. The legal battle between Knudsen and NAAG highlights the larger tensions between Republicans and the organization, with allegations of fiscal mismanagement and ideological bias further fueling the dispute. The outcome of the lawsuit will determine the extent of NAAG’s financial practices and its adherence to Montana’s constitutional and legal requirements.

BY: Big Sky Headlines Staff