Hawley on Greitens charity case: "We have obtained evidence of potential criminal violations"

1 year 4 months 1 week ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:27:00 AM CDT April 17, 2018 in Top Stories
By: Jamie Grey, KOMU 8 Managing Editor & Chelsea Haynes, KOMU 8 News Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office has turned over evidence to the St. Louis circuit attorney for possible charges against Gov. Eric Greitens. The evidence is related to a donor list from the governor's charity, The Mission Continues. 

"We have uncovered evidence of wrongdoing beyond Missouri's charity laws. To be specific within the last several days, we have obtained evidence of potential criminal violations," Hawley said.

The evidence obtained, Hawley said, shows Greitens took an electronic donor list from the charity without permission and then used that list for political fundraising. Hawley said this falls under computer tampering, which, given of the value of the list, could be a felony.

"We’ve done a thorough review of this matter, and we know that there’s no wrongdoing here. In fact, there’s nothing close to wrongdoing. Eric built The Mission Continues from scratch, and he helped thousands of veterans by doing so," Greitens' attorney Jim Martin said. "The Attorney General held a completely frivolous and inappropriate press conference on a non-issue."

Hawley said his office began investigating about two months ago, gathering multiple subpoenas, thousands of pages of evidence, and many witnesses. 

The case is currently within statute of limitations for charging, but Hawley said that window is closing quickly.

"A charging decision must be made very soon, which is the reason for my announcement this morning," Hawley said.

Hawley's office does not have jurisdiction for this case; the St. Louis circuit attorney is responsible for any charging decisions. 

The House committee investigating Greitens' affair case now also has the evidence; Hawley said a court granted permission for him to share what his office found. He said this case could establish grounds for impeachment. 

"I do think that this evidence would likely support the finding of probable cause that a crime was committed, again, so it could be charged. The standards for impeachment say that a crime is grounds for impeachment, so I think you could certainly say that these appear to be impeachable offenses. That is a decision for the House to make however, and that's whey we're giving them everything that we have."

Greitens' office responded to Hawley's announcement just after noon Tuesday: 
"Fortunately for Josh, he’s better at press conferences than the law. Anyone who has set foot in a Missouri courtroom knows these allegations are ridiculous. Josh has turned the “evidence” he claims to have over to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner— a liberal prosecutor funded by George Soros who allegedly suborned perjury, falsified documents, and withheld evidence. We will dispense with these false allegations."
House Minority Whip Kip Kendrick said Greitens response "is very indicative of how he has responded to other allegations. He blames the individual making the allegations, throws some mud saying its ridiculous. We'll probably even hear more dog whistles over the next few weeks too about a continued witch hunt,' and other key phrases he likes to use." 
Kendrick also said, "I believe we have sufficient evidence at this point to move forward with impeachment." 
Kendrick said its difficult to put a time stamp on the impeachment process, but said it begins with the House filing articles on impeachment that would be voted on by the House, and then passed to the Senate. The Senate would then select seven imminent jurists and take the impeachment articles and evidence gathered by the House and then make a decision as to whether or not the individual is fit to hold office. 
"Today's allegations continue to show a pattern of bad behavior and potential for criminal activity," Kendrick said. 
Editor's note: This story has been updated with Gov. Greitens and his attorney's response.

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