MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama's attorney general is taking a closer look into an alleged disinformation campaign aimed at Roy Moore's Senate run last year.
The matter is not yet an official investigation, but state leaders say political groups may have violated Alabama law.
According to our news partner AL.com, Attorney General Steve Marshall said he's looking into potential illegal activity during the 2017 special Senate race campaign.
"I am as outraged as anyone about that," Sen. Doug Jones said.
The Washington Post and New York Times reported that billionaire Reid Hoffman apologized for a $750,000 donation which funded a social media effort that made it appear Russian bots were following Moore.
"That an American citizen would try to take a Russian playbook and try and create that kind of interference," Sen. Jones said.
"He was a vulnerable candidate who proved to be a viable test case for this type of ill-founded behaviors," former Alabama state house candidate Tom Fredricks said.
Jones bested Moore by a little over 21,000 votes in the special election. How much influence the social media efforts had on voters is unclear. Fredricks says the tactics were questionable, but not entirely illegal.
"I don't know if the AG's office will get a lot of traction. The first amendment protections to bash somebody politically are pretty broad," Fredricks said.
In a statement shared with WHNT News 19 this week, Moore said, 'It is curious that my former opponent Doug Jones now pretends to be outraged and calls for an investigation after the election, and Facebook suspends 5 accounts for bad behavior.
So far, the matter is not an official investigation.
Moore announced in September he was dropping a defamation lawsuit against a political action committee he says ran ads accusing him of sexual misconduct.
Here is the full statement Moore shared with WHNT News 19-
"It's about time that state and federal authorities, as well as the general public, are becoming aware of the false and deceptive tactics used by the Democrat party and political operatives to influence the Alabama Senate election in 2017. It is curious that my former opponent Doug Jones, "Now" pretends to be "Outraged" and calls for an investigation after the election, and Facebook suspends 5 accounts for "bad behavior. This problem must be addressed before the 2020 election if we are to preserve our Country. May God be with us!"