MISSOURI: Republican Sen-Elect Josh Hawley Under Investigation For Using Public Employees In Campaign

The Kansas City Star reports:

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has launched an investigation into a complaint that Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley used public resources in his successful bid for the U.S. Senate.

The American Democracy Legal Fund on Nov. 2 filed a complaint with Ashcroft, claiming that Hawley used out-of-state political consultants to direct the activities of public employees in the attorney general’s office to raise Hawley’s political profile as he prepared to mount a campaign for U.S. Senate.

“Josh Hawley’s flagrant abuse of his taxpayer funded office for his own political gain deserves immediate investigation,” said Brad Woodhouse, ADLF president, in a statement. “We’re heartened to see Secretary of State Ashcroft give this racket further scrutiny.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., argued in the campaign’s closing days that Hawley may have committed a crime by inviting political advisers to manage aspects of his office.

“It is against the law to use state resources for political gain,” McCaskill, a former prosecutor in Kansas City, said. “You cannot use taxpayer-paid staff to assist in any political purpose. The last attorney general went to prison for utilizing his office and his state staff to promote him politically. Those are the facts.”

In 1993, Missouri Attorney General William L. Webster was sentenced to two years in prison for conspiracy and embezzlement of state resources after an investigation revealed Webster was using state resources for political purposes.

Hawley first appeared on JMG in 2015 when as a candidate for Missouri attorney general he backed a proposal to legalize anti-LGBT business discrimination in the name of Jesus.