Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office has responded to allegations that Hawley illegally used public resources to help his U.S. Senate campaign. The allegations have been leveraged by the Democratic-leaning group American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF).
The Kansas City Star first reported that outside political consultants directed and “gave guidance” to Hawley’s taxpayer-funded staff in the Attorney General’s Office. The newspaper said 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.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has launched an investigation into the accusations against the fellow Republican Hawley. Ashcroft is charged as secretary of state to investigate election violations.
In a letter to Ashcroft’s office, Solicitor General D. John Sauer says the ADLF’s complaint is a “frivolous act of political harassment”. Sauer goes on to say that Brad Woodhouse, who leads the ADLF, is a well-known Democratic operative for a leftist political organization.
He says the group regularly attacked Hawley during Hawley’s recent successful campaign for the U.S. Senate and has filed multiple legal complaints against the attorney general in various forums. Sauer says Woodhouse filed this particular complaint seven days before the General Election—well within the ordinary blackout period for campaign-related complaints under Missouri’s ethics laws.
Ashcroft has asked State Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat, to work together to investigate the case. In a letter to Galloway today, Ashcroft cites Galloway having subpoena power, unlike Ashcroft.
Galloway is scheduled to do a closeout audit of Hawley’s administration, since Hawley successfully defeated Democrat Claire McCaskill in last month’s election. Ashcroft is asking Galloway for records during her that are relative to the allegations against Hawley. He also wants his office to sit in on any interviews and depositions that Galloway’s office would conduct.
Galloway is reviewing Ashcroft’s request.
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