If St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner requests the help of Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office in its investigation of the governor, Hawley says his office would help. Gardner’s office is investigating an allegation that Governor Eric Greitens, R, photographed his half-dressed mistress and threatened to share it if she failed to keep quiet about their affair.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley

“There’s a process that this office has carefully worked out with the prosecutors to help any prosecutor who needs assistance to get that assistance, either through the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, which is the group of all elected prosecutors, and/or this office,” Hawley says. “If a request were made, as we would in any case, we would absolutely work with that office to make sure they got the help they needed, whether it was from the Prosecuting Attorneys Association or from this office. There’s a process for that we would make sure would be fulfilled.”

Greitens has admitted to having an affair before he became governor but denies the woman’s accusation. Her account of the events was recorded by her ex-husband without the woman’s knowledge.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan assemble of eight State Senators called on Hawley, a Republican, to open an investigation into the allegation against the governor. Hawley contends that Missouri statute gives jurisdiction to the prosecuting attorney serving the area where the alleged crime occurred.

St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner

Gardner, a former Democratic State Representative, quickly responded by announcing the launch of an investigation.

“It is essential for residents of the City of St. Louis and our state to have confidence in their leaders,” Gardner says in a written statement. “They must know that the Office of the Circuit Attorney will hold public officials accountable in the same manner as any other resident of our city. Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations.”

The woman Greitens had an affair with, whose identity has not been disclosed, says the alleged crime happened in Greitens’ St. Louis home.

If Gardner calls and Hawley doesn’t want to get involved, Democrats will likely have a field day with that move. Such a refusal would be a gift to Missouri Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.

Hawley, who is considered a rising star in the Republican Party, is running for U.S. Senate to unseat McCaskill. Hawley is the presumptive primary frontrunner in a crowded field of Republicans who don’t have the name recognition that he does. Missouri’s U.S. Senate race is expected to be one of the tightest in the country.