Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, already fighting for his political life and facing a felony charge related to an extramarital affair, could soon face another felony count after Attorney General Josh Hawley cited evidence Tuesday that Greitens’ use of a charity donor list broke the law.
Hawley, speaking at a news conference, said it will be up to the St. Louis prosecutor to decide whether to charge Greitens with a crime. He said his office has shared its information with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, and with a special House investigatory committee that is investigating the governor. A spokeswoman for Gardner said prosecutors are “reviewing the evidence,” but declined further comment.
The Associated Press first reported in October 2016 that Greitens’ campaign had obtained a list of top donors to The Mission Continues. The AP found that Greitens’ campaign had raised nearly $2 million from donors who previously gave significant amounts to The Mission Continues. Hawley says his office found evidence that Greitens transmitted that list without permission, which he said could amount to felony computer tampering.
“We have uncovered evidence of wrongdoing that goes beyond Missouri’s charity laws. To be specific, within the past several days, we have obtained evidence of potential criminal violation of Missouri law. And the evidence indicates that these potential criminal acts were committed by Gov. Eric Greitens,” Hawley said.
Email messages seeking comment from Greitens’ attorneys were not immediately returned.
Greitens already faces a felony invasion-of-privacy charge in St. Louis for allegedly taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman with whom Greitens said he had an affair in 2015, before he was elected.
Also, the House investigatory committee is weighing whether to pursue impeachment proceedings against Greitens based on testimony to the committee.
Hawley’s announcement came one day after Greitens’ attorney Edward L. Dowd Jr. requested that Hawley recuse the attorney general’s office from investigating The Mission Continues. Dowd raised concerns over Hawley’s call last week for the governor to resign.
Hawley and Greitens are both Republicans. Hawley called for Greitens to step down last week after allegations of sexual misconduct outlined in a House investigatory report. Attorney general spokeswoman Mary Compton said that’s not related to Hawley’s investigation into the charity’s possible violations of the state’s consumer protection and charitable registration and reporting laws.
A growing number of Missouri elected officials have called on Greitens to resign since the House report was released.
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