World News

Hawley seeks "computer tampering" felony charges against Greitens in Mission Continues investigation

Hawley seeks

During a news conference Tuesday, AG Josh Hawley said his office found evidence that suggests Greitens improperly got a hold of a donor list from a charity he founded before running for office.

Hawley told reporters at a news conference that his office had found evidence that the governor obtained an electronic donor list from the charity The Mission Continues without permission and used the internal list for "political fundraising".

The charity said in a statement that it is "fully cooperating" with Hawley's office and does not engage in political activities, adding that it did not promote Greitens' political career.

Greitens responded to Hawley's accusations later Tuesday, saying, "Anyone who has set foot in a Missouri courtroom knows these allegations are ridiculous".

The leader of the Missouri House Democrats is renewing her call for Gov. Eric Greitens to step down or be impeached in response to an announcement from the state attorney general that evidence shows Greitens' use of a charity donor list potentially broke the law. She goes on to say the attorney general's investigation into The Mission Continues does not address those allegations.

Gov. Eric Greitens released this statement following Attorney General Josh Hawley's press conference: "Fortunately for Josh, he's better at press conferences than the law". "If Greitens continues to stubbornly cling to power, the House must immediately act to initiate his ultimate removal from office".

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Greitens is due in court next month on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge related to an extramarital affair in 2015. The Mission Continues has adamantly denied giving the donor list to the Greitens campaign. Hawley announced on Tuesday that his office had evidence that Greitens illegally obtained that fundraising list. The letter says Hawley's investigation is "clearly compromised" because he has "predetermined the guilt of his own investigative target". Hawley says he's turned evidence over to St. Louis prosecutors to decide whether to file charges.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner hired Tisaby, a private investigator, rather than relying on St. Louis police for the investigation. A spokeswoman for Gardner said prosecutors are "reviewing the evidence", but declined further comment. The evidence in this case has been publicly available since October 2016 - what excuse could Josh Hawley possibly have for failing to pursue an investigation and allowing this evidence to languish for over a year?

The Associated Press first reported in October 2016 that Greitens' campaign had obtained a list of top donors to The Mission Continues and raised almost $2 million for his campaign from donors on that list.

Also, the House investigatory committee is weighing whether to pursue impeachment proceedings against Greitens based on testimony to the committee.

"Eric built The Mission Continues from scratch, and he helped thousands of veterans by doing so", Martin said.

The attorney general's office had been investigating possible violations of the state's consumer protection and charitable registration and reporting laws. Senate Democrats proposed blocking all bills from going to Greitens' desk in protest of claims against him.


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