Senators call for investigation into Governor's political finances
JEFFERSON CITY — A bipartisan group of Missouri state senators is calling for an investigation of Gov. Eric Greitens after the group claims he admitted to illegal and unethical activity during his campaign.
The Senate resolution filed Monday afternoon, if passed, would establish a Senate committee to investigate the governor's political campaign. They would also investigate his official office, and the activity of Greitens' "dark-money" group, A New Missouri, which is a non-profit organization that accepts unlimited campaign contributions.
Cosponsoring the legislation are Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City), Senator Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City), Senator Scott Sifton (D-Affton), Senator Bob Dixon (R-Springfield), Senator Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph) and Senator Doug Libla (R-Poplar Bluff).
A resolution filed by Kansas City Democratic Sen. Jason Holsman asks for an investigation of campaign use of a potential donor list from The Mission Continues, a charity that Greitens helped found and that wasn't originally listed in campaign finance reports. Greitens' campaign was fined for failing to report use of the donor list. The charity helps veterans transition to the private-sector through volunteer work.
In a text message to a KOMU 8 reporter, the governor's press secretary, Parker Briden, said, "We put out a call for a special session to protect lives and the health and safety of Missourians, and this is the response from these politicians? They're angry that the Governor is shaking up Jefferson City and won't accept their excuses for failure any longer. Temper tantrums from career politicians don't bother us. It's just more evidence that Governor Greitens is an outsider who is doing what he said he would do: taking on politicians in both parties to get results. When career politicians are whining, Missourians are winning."
Todd Graves, the chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, said in a statement, "This is nothing more than a political stunt that the senators lack the legal authority -- or basis for that matter -- to conduct."
"This baseless and ill-informed political stunt is a desperate attempt to distract Missourians from the work the Governor is doing to shake up Jefferson City and put an end to politics as usual," the statement continued.
In April, Greitens signed a Missouri Ethics Commission order detailing misconduct within his campaign. The goal of the Senate committee is to reveal whether Greitens was, or was not, the person who provided his campaign with a list of big dollar donors from his non-profit organization. In those documents, the potential donor list was valued at $600.
"We must protect the integrity of Missouri's highest office and I am pleased to join my Republican colleagues in calling for this investigation," said State Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City).
The full bipartisan Senate Resolution establishing an investigation committee can be found here.
(Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the latest information.)