Missouri’s secretary of state on Monday asked the state’s auditor for help with an investigation into outgoing attorney general and Sen.-elect Josh Hawley (R-MO), who is under investigation after a report alleged that he had outside political consultants run his taxpayer-funded office for his own political benefit, The Kansas City Star first reported.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft wrote to Missouri Auditor Nicole Gallaway that his office has “no subpoena power over documents or persons,” contrasting it to the auditor’s office, which he wrote does have that power.
Ashcroft promised to share information his office finds that may be helpful to Gallaway’s audit — which is carried out with every change in statewide office — in exchange for information her office obtains related to his probe and the ability to sit in on interviews.
Ashcroft’s office also wrote to The Kansas City Star and the state solicitor general asking for documents from the attorney general’s office obtained via records requests; the Star — which broke the story of Hawley’s use of political consultants in his government office — reported that it declined to make the documents available to the secretary of state.
Based on the Star’s reporting, the liberal watchdog group American Democracy Legal Fund (ALDF) filed a complaint against Hawley in November, alleging, “Under Hawley’s oversight and with his approval, political consultants appear to have used Missouri’s taxpayer-funded resources to construct a carefully-curated communications strategy that would puff up Hawley’s public image and prepare him for his Senate candidacy.”
The secretary of state’s office provided TPM with the letters it sent to the state auditor, the solicitor general, the Kansas City Star, and the ALDF. Read them in full, in that order, below:
This post has been updated.