Missouri House committee sues to get documents in Greitens investigation
The Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens has sued two political groups connected to the governor demanding they turn over documents.
“The Chair of The Committee, as a member of the House of Representatives, ‘has an absolute right to have a subpoena issue(d) to obtain evidence concerning an offense over which the House of Representatives has jurisdiction,” attorneys for the committee wrote in the suit, filed Thursday in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City. “The impeachment of an executive officer of Missouri, including a governor, is an offense over which the House of Representatives has jurisdiction.”
The committee issued subpoenas two weeks ago to Greitens for Missouri and A New Missouri, a 501(c)(4) established to “advocate for and promote the governor’s agenda,” and “make sure Missourians know what the governor is doing and what he’s trying to get passed.” Members are investigating whether Greitens used the groups to conceal donors in violation of Missouri’s campaign finance laws, and announced in an open meeting on Tuesday they had found evidence Greitens may have used shell companies for that purpose.
The suit filed Thursday says neither the campaign committee nor A New Missouri had turned over the selected documents. Members made it clear Monday they believed the governor was stonewalling them.
Catherine Hanaway, an attorney representing the two groups, disputed that characterization in a statement released Thursday.
“We can’t wait to stand in front of a judge and explain that in just seven days we produced more than 14,000 responsive documents, we are producing almost 6,000 documents today and the House still isn’t satisfied,” she said. “We can’t wait to have a judge determine whether the House committee has the legal authority to go on a wild fishing expedition.”
But early Thursday evening, Hanaway's law firm delivered 32,815 more documents to the House committee.
The General Assembly is set to go into special session Friday evening to eventually consider whether the governor should be impeached, or face other discipline.
In an appearance at the governor’s residence on Thursday, Greitens blamed advocates of low-income housing tax credits for some of his legal and political woes. He suspended the program in December.
Marshall Griffin contributed to this report.
Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann