Attorney General Hawley reports wrongdoing involving Gov. Greitens' charity donor list
"Evidence now in our possession would likely support a finding of probable cause, that Mr. Greitens obtained an electronic donor list created by "The Mission Continues" for that organization's internal purposes," Attorney General Josh Hawley said during a news conference Tuesday morning. "Mr. Greitens, however, used that list for political fundraising. He transmitted that list for political fundraising."
That, Hawley says, Governor Eric Greitens did without the approval or knowledge of his charity, "The Mission Continues." Hawley says the jurisdiction does not lie with his office, but rather with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who is also the prosecutor in Greitens' criminal invasion of privacy trial.
"But, the deadline for the statute of limitations is fast approaching. So, a charging decision must be made very soon," Hawley said.
Hawley, however did not say when that statute of limitations would expire.
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives returned to work today, the first time since the special committee released their report into the invasion of privacy charge.
House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty says these new allegations and potential criminal charges just adds to the House's grounds for possible impeachment.
"There are offenses in the first part of the information we got that are impeachable, and from what the Attorney General said today, there are potentially impeachable offenses as well as criminal offenses in this new information," Beatty said.
Representative Jean Evans, a St. Louis County Republican, says she respects the Attorney General , and believes he must have the evidence to recommend these charges.
"For him to make these charges, they're very serious charges, and he must be very confident he has the evidence, or else he wouldn't have done so," Evans said.
Governor Greitens responded Tuesday with a statement saying in part, "Fortunately for Josh, he’s better at press conferences than the law. Anyone who has set foot in a Missouri courtroom knows these allegations are ridiculous."
Hawley said so far in their investigation, the Attorney General's office has not found any wrongdoing on the charity's part.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says his investigation into a veterans charity founded by Gov. Eric Greitens revealed evidence that Greitens' use of the charity's donor list broke the law.
Hawley said Tuesday that it's up to the St. Louis prosecutor to decide whether to charge Greitens with a crime.
The Associated Press first reported in October 2016 that Greitens' campaign had obtained a list of top donors to The Mission Continues. The AP found that Greitens' campaign had raised nearly $2 million from donors who previously gave significant amounts to The Mission Continues. Hawley says his office found evidence that Greitens transmitted that list without permission in violation of the law.
Greitens already faces a felony invasion-of-privacy charge in St. Louis for allegedly taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman with whom Greitens said he had an affair.
Separately, a special House investigatory committee is to recommend whether to pursue impeachment proceedings against Greitens.