The special House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens will seek to get testimony from members of his campaign.
After Greitens’ legal counsel Catherine Hanaway complained that the committee hadn’t allowed the campaign to be heard, the counsel to the committee last night said they would be asked to testify.
In a statement, Edward “Chip” Robertson Jr. said, “the House will accept Ms. Hanaway’s offer and will issue subpoenas to the appropriate persons within the campaign.”
Hanaway issued a statement Wednesday responding to the House committee’s latest report that indicates Greitens broke campaign finance laws and was dishonest with the state Ethics Commission over a donor list.
Hanaway criticized the committee’s chairman, Republican Representative Jay Barnes of Jefferson City, for failing to seek testimony or documents from the campaign. She said, “He ought to ask the campaign for its version of events before acting as judge and jury in a matter that was settled long ago.”
Responding to Hathaway’s statement, Robinson concluded that the committee’s report had the desired effect in causing people associated with the Greitens team to offer information after they’d previously refused to do so.
Wednesday’s report from the committee centered on Greitens’ alleged use of a donor list from his former charity without permission for campaigns purposes. Greitens is charged with felony computer tampering over his acquisition of the list.
The House report includes testimony from former Greitens campaign manager Danny Laub who claims he was mischaracterized by Greitens as the provider of the donor list on behalf of the charity.
Laub said he was duped into permitting a later campaign advisor, Austin Chamber, to misrepresent his connection to the list, which allowed Greitens to falsely list him as its in-kind contributor to the campaign.
The report contends Greitens used the arrangement to minimize his liability when he negotiated a settlement agreement with the state Ethics Commission for improperly receiving the list. Greitens paid a $100 fine to the Commission.
The report indicates Greitens was dishonest in his dealings with the Commission.
In her Wednesday statement, Greitens’ counsel Hanaway dismissed the $100 fine as “less than most speeding tickets.” She also disputes Laub’s claim that he was falsely listed as the contributor of the list, saying Chambers properly told him his name would appear on the campaign finance report to the Commission because he was with the campaign at the time.
Hanaway further claims committee chairman Barnes is skirting the legal process by not allowing the campaign to be heard, saying “every American is entitled to their day in court, an opportunity to be heard, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Robertson responded saying, “Catherine Hanaway is confused about the law of impeachment…Like an indictment, an impeachment is followed by a trial where due process is honored and the official impeached is given a fair hearing.”
The latest report Wednesday from the special House committee follows a previous report and subsequent addendum from the committee that had centered on Greitens alleged blackmail attempt on a former mistress.
Robertson is a former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice. Hanaway is a former U.S. Attorney. Read both of their Wednesday statements below.
“The sum and substance of the first 70 or so paragraphs outline a charge—that The Mission Continues list was used for campaign purposes—considered and resolved a year ago by the MEC with a $100 fine, less than most speeding tickets. The “big revelation” comes at the end of the report where former campaign manager Danny Laub attempts to say that he was falsely listed as the contributor of the list to the campaign. But if you read the actual testimony, Mr. Laub says Mr. Chambers called him, told him that his name would appear on the campaign finance report, that he was being listed because he was at the campaign at the time—and Mr. Laub agreed.
If the committee had heard from the campaign, it would have learned that Mr. Laub had possession of the list in early 2015, that the campaign was not formed until then, and that Mr. Laub was the top staff person on the campaign when it began.
This should have been an open process. There is no argument to be made that the identities or testimony of the accusers in this report should be shielded from scrutiny. This is, at its core, a minor campaign finance issue. The report pertains to allegations made about the source of a list used to raise money for a campaign. The witnesses were employees of or consultants to the campaign. Two of them were replaced long before election day. One of them worked for one of the Governor’s opponents in the campaign. And all of them were testifying about the campaign itself.”
If Chairman Barnes were on a quest to find out the truth, he has unfinished business to conduct. He ought to ask the campaign for its version of events before acting as judge and jury in a matter that was settled long ago.”
“Catherine Hanaway is confused about the law of impeachment. She is fully aware that the House is not convicting anyone. Rather, the House serves to determine whether a public official should be impeached. Impeachment is akin to an indictment by a grand jury in some, but certainly not all, ways. Like an indictment, an impeachment is followed by a trial where due process is honored and the official impeached is given a fair hearing. To that end, the House will accept Ms. Hanaway’s offer and will issue subpoenas to the appropriate persons within the campaign. Indeed, the committee’s report had the desired effect. It caused people associated with the Greitens team to offer to do what they have so far refused to do when asked — to provide information to the committee.”