Report: Emails link Greitens, dark-money group

1 year 5 months 1 day ago Thursday, July 05 2018 Jul 5, 2018 Thursday, July 05, 2018 6:52:00 AM CDT July 05, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A newspaper says it has obtained emails showing that the top campaign fundraiser for former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens worked to set up a meeting between a prolific donor and a state official while seeking to raise money for a dark-money group later formed by Greitens campaign staffers.

A Democratic legislator who served on a House committee that investigated Greitens said the emails appear to be evidence of coordination between the governor's office, his campaign and the dark-money group, A New Missouri Inc., The Kansas City Star reported .

Greitens resigned June 1 facing potential impeachment over various allegations of political and sexual misconduct and after a House committee subpoenaed records from A New Missouri.

"This is the kind of email that prompted the committee to pursue a subpoena for A New Missouri," said Rep. Gina Mitten, of St. Louis County.

The Star said a Feb. 3, 2017, email exchange between Meredith Gibbons and Jeanne Sinquefield came two days before the treasurer and attorney for the then-Republican governor's 2016 campaign filed the necessary paperwork with the Missouri secretary of state's office to create A New Missouri. It's called a dark-money group because, as a nonprofit, it faces no limits on the contributions it can accept and it is not required to disclose its donors.

Gibbons was Greitens' campaign finance director. Sinquefield and her husband, Rex, have made tens of millions of dollars in political donations in recent years. A spokesman said neither ultimately donated to A New Missouri.

Gibbons and representatives for Greitens, his campaign and A New Missouri did not respond to the newspaper's requests for comment. Neither did Austin Chambers, who was Greitens' senior political adviser, The Star said.

Before the email exchange, Jeanne Sinquefield had met with Greitens and his staff about issues related to appointments for the University of Missouri's Board of Curators. In an email, she asked Gibbons to arrange a meeting about contributing to the soon-to-be-formed dark-money nonprofit.

Gibbons replied that she had contacted Drew Erdmann, who was set to become the governor's chief operating officer in another week and Erdmann would reach out personally to set up a meeting. Gibbons also wrote that the "best point of contact" for a contribution to the dark-money group was her or Chambers.

Mitten said the House committee investigating Greitens obtained the emails and others like them. She said such emails helped convince the GOP-controlled committee's leaders that A New Missouri was designed to illegally skirt contribution limits and conceal major donors' identities — something the group's attorney strongly denies.

The House committee abandoned its attempt to enforce its subpoena and shut down its investigation when Greitens left office.

Greitens was indicted on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge in February , accused of taking a compromising photo of a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair in 2015 without her consent. The charge eventually was dropped, but a report by the House committee included testimony from the woman that the panel deemed credible that Greitens slapped, spanked, shoved, grabbed and called her derogatory names during sexual encounters.

The committee also was looking into campaign finance issues. Greitens also had faced a felony charge of tampering with computer data for providing his political fundraiser with the donor list of a veterans' charity he founded. The prosecutor said she dropped the charge in exchange for his resignation.

___

Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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