Governor Blunt doesn’t have to talk to special assistant attorneys general about the e-mail retention policy in his office, for now.
Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan has turned back efforts by two special assistant attorneys general to depose the governor. But Callahan left an opening that he might allow it if the request is more narrowly tailored. Callahan agreed with Governor Blunt’s defense team that the initial request to speak with the governor was too broad. During a hearing in Jefferson City, the judge also seemed somewhat sympathetic with the defense’s argument that Blunt is protected by executive privilege. The team investigating how the governor’s office handled e-mail correspondence has countered that there is nothing in state law that grants the governor executive privilege.
Special assistant attorney general Joe Maxwell says it’s important that the legal team be able to interview Blunt to understand whether he knew the details of how the office dealt with e-mails. The investigative team accuses the office of violated both the state records retention law and the Sunshine Law by not keeping e-mails that would be considered public records and by not fully disclosing them upon request.
A trial on the matter was scheduled for next week, but has been delayed until the first of the year.