A judge has scheduled a hearing for arguments from an attorney representing Eric Greitens about whether documents should be turned over to a special House committee that was investigating him.
Lawyer Catherine Hanaway will appear in Cole County Circuit Court Thursday at 1 p.m. to assert the committee no longer has authority to demand information from Greiten’s secretive nonprofit organization because he resigned from office.
Hanaway filed a court motion Friday morning making the claim. Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem had decided last Tuesday that the documents must be turned over to the committee by 5 p.m last Friday.
But several hours before that deadline, Beetem delayed his order while he allows Hanaway to present her case for a reversal of his decision.
The non-profit group, A New Missouri Inc., is classified as a 501 (c) (4) organization that conceals the identities of its donors. Because of this arrangement, it’s often associated with the term “dark money”.
Greitens, who came onto the political scene in 2015, ran on a platform of being a political outsider pursuing to put an end to corruption in Jefferson City.
During the 2016 campaign, Greitens’ campaign received $6 million worth of “dark money” contributions that traveled through nonprofits and into federal political action committees.
A New Missouri Inc. donated $500,000 last month to a pro right to work organization that could spend money against a labor-backed ballot measure in the August election. Greitens signed a right to work bill into law as Governor in February 2017.
If Beetem were to keep his order in place, A New Missouri Inc. would have to turn over communications and documents showing potential coordination between it, the governor and the governor’s campaign committee, as well as money it’s spent related to advertising.
The House still wants the subpoenas from the committee honored, although its special committee canceled all of its hearings once Greitens announced his resignation from office last Tuesday.
Greitens, once considered a future presidential candidate, is accused of taking a donor list from his former charity without proper permission and using that list to bankroll his political campaign.
An earlier report by the special House committee notes that in a subsequent filing with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Greitens and his campaign admitted that the campaign used the donor list for fundraising purposes. He signed a settlement agreement and paid a $100 fine.
Greiten’s attorneys negotiated a deal with the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office for it to drop a felony computer tampering charge against Greitens related to his acquisition of the donor list in exchange for his resignation.
During the House committee’s work, former Greitens campaign advisor Michael Hafner also indicated that Greitens could have received foreign donations, which would break federal campaign finance laws.