The Missouri GOP House Speaker and the House Democratic Leader both confirm they have spoken to investigators from St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner’s office, regarding the investigation into Governor Eric Greitens (R).
House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, tells the Capitol Press Corps he spoke to Gardner’s investigators Wednesday.
“I won’t speak for the rest of the (House Republican) leadership team, you can ask them, but I did speak with those investigators yesterday and you know, beyond that, (I would) direct those questions to the Circuit Attorney’s office on the specifics,” Richardson tells reporters.
Speaker Richardson and House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, spoke separately to the media on Thursday, as is their normal custom after session concludes for the week.
Leader Beatty says Gardner’s investigators spoke to her Wednesday at the Statehouse in Jefferson City.
Beatty says the investigators wanted to know if she’s spoken to Greitens, since news of the governor’s 2015 affair with a hairdresser broke in January.
“The governor did call me. I didn’t answer, he left a message,” says Beatty. “I returned the phone call. He didn’t answer and that was it. There was no conversation between me and the governor.”
Beatty is referring to calls Greitens reportedly made to Missouri lawmakers in mid-January, after St. Louis television station KMOV broke the story about the affair.
After KMOV’s report, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Gardner announced she was launching “a formal investigation into the alleged actions of Governor Greitens.”
Gardner, a Democrat, is a former Missouri House member.
Gardner spokeswoman Susan Ryan has referred to the case as an ongoing investigation.
Missourinet followed-up again with Ms. Ryan on Thursday afternoon, asking if her office can confirm Speaker Richardson and Leader Beatty’s comments and if this is still an ongoing investigation.
Ryan e-mailed back to say that “I can confirm that Jack Foley and William Tisaby are among the investigators working on this matter with the Circuit Attorney.”
Ryan’s e-mailed response did not address the statements from Richardson and Beatty.
The “Kansas City Star” reports Gardner dispatched the investigators to Jefferson City “to ask lawmakers about Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ use of dark money and other topics as part of her probe into the Republican.”
Dark money is a term that has been used on the Senate floor several times this year. They are contributions routed through nonprofits that don’t disclose the original source.