Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is starting an investigation into the operations of Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley speaks to reporters at Missouri Farm Bureau headquarters in Jefferson City on August 10, 2018

The probe will look at accusations that Hawley used taxpayer money to support his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Ashcroft’s office sent a letter Thursday (see below) confirming the investigation to Democratic strategist Brad Woodhouse.

Woodhouse heads The American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF) which lodged the allegations after The Kansas City Star reported that outside political consultants directed and “gave guidance” to Hawley’s taxpayer-funded staff in the attorney general’s office.

The newspaper reported that those consultants, who went on to run Hawley’s Senate campaign, continued to meet with the attorney general’s staff during business hours in his official offices in the state Supreme Court building in Jefferson City.

Ashcroft, a Republican as is Hawley, is authorized as secretary of state to investigate election violations. He could send results of his probe to prosecutors.

Woodhouse sent a letter to Ashcroft on November 2nd, days before the general election in which Hawley defeated incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in the Missouri race for U.S. Senate.

Secretary Ashcroft’s investigation of Hawley was announced Thursday, but ADLF has lodged accusations against the outgoing attorney general for more than a year. ADLF first filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in August 2017, alleging that Hawley was violating campaign finance rules by using state funds to prepare for a Senate race.

Letter sent to American Dem… by on Scribd