JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri attorney general Josh Hawley announced Tuesday that his investigation into Missouri Governor Eric Greitens' charity The Mission Continues has uncovered evidence of criminal activity.
Hawley in no uncertain terms called on Gov. Greitens to resign.
Hawley said his investigation revealed evidence that Greitens' use of the charity's donor list broke the law. He said the governor's "serious misconduct" is an "impeachable offense."
Hawley said Tuesday that it's up to the St. Louis prosecutor to decide whether to charge Greitens with a crime.
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 said his office found evidence that Greitens transmitted that list without permission in violation of the law.
"When the attorney general comes out and says there are definitely violations that are impeachable as well as possibly criminal, that was a little shocking," House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty said. "And it just says that we need to be moving forward, and it is time for this governor to resign. If he refuses, we need to move forward with impeachment."
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.
Separately, a special House investigatory committee is to recommend whether to pursue impeachment proceedings against Greitens.
Gov. Greitens issued the following statement following Hawley's news conference:
"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."
The Mission Continues released the following statement:
"The Mission Continues has been fully cooperating with the Missouri Attorney General’s office and we look forward to the completion of those efforts. We have said from the beginning, as an organization we completely abstain from any and all political activities. The Mission Continues did not provide, nor authorize the use of, our donors’ information to any persons or groups for political/campaign purposes. We appreciate that AG Hawley has recognized that the evidence fully supports that The Mission Continues did not authorize the use of any donor information for political purposes. Nor did we promote Governor Greitens for political office. The Mission Continues remains committed to our mission to empower veterans, volunteers, and communities around the country through the power of service."