Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has been served a subpoena by Attorney General Josh Hawley as part of an investigation into the governor's use of the resources of a veterans' charity for his 2016 gubernatorial campaign.
“We have issued a civil subpoena to the Greitens Group," Mary Compton, Hawley's press secretary, said Thursday. Greitens is the registered agent for the Greitens Group, his private company that once handled his book sales and speaking engagements, and accepted the subpoena through his counsel.
Greitens' attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.
Issues surrounding the Greitens campaign’s use of a donor list belonging to The Mission Continues have dogged the governor since shortly before the 2016 election.
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Greitens founded The Mission Continues in 2007. The nonprofit connects veterans with volunteer opportunities in their home communities.
When first confronted by the Associated Press with evidence that his campaign used its donor list to raise money, Greitens flatly denied it.
After a complaint was filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Greitens and his attorney signed a consent decree last year attesting that the list was given to his campaign in March 2015 as an in-kind donation from Daniel Laub, his campaign manager.
Yet The Mission Continues has been adamant that it did not — and would not — give Greitens’ campaign or any campaign its donor list. Doing so could violate federal law and put the charity’s tax-exempt status at risk. The charity has been equally unwavering in saying that it doesn’t even know who Laub is.
Experts in nonprofit law previously told The Star that if someone took the list from the charity without permission and used it for personal or political purposes, that could be considered theft or embezzlement.
In addition to the donor list, Greitens is also accused of using the charity's email list for political purposes.
New York Times reporter Ben Casselman has said that after he donated to The Mission Continues in 2012, he began getting campaign-related emails from Greitens. His experience is similar to that of another source who provided The Star with emails showing he had signed up for email updates from The Mission Continues in 2010 and then began getting fundraising emails from the Greitens campaign in 2015.
Hawley said last month that he would be willing to go to court to fight any assertion of executive privilege by Greitens to contest a subpoena and get out of answering questions from the attorney general's office.
In addition to the attorney general's probe, Greitens is fending off investigations on multiple fronts and on numerous issues.
A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge related to an extramarital affair in 2015. The indictment alleges Greitens took a nonconsensual photo of the partially nude woman with whom he was having the affair.
Greitens is scheduled to go to trial on the criminal charges in May. In addition to the invasion of privacy charge, the St. Louis prosecutor is also looking into issues surrounding Greitens and The Mission Continues.
Next week a bipartisan Missouri House committee that's been investigating Greitens for more than a month will release its findings. The committee has delved into both the allegations stemming from the affair and The Mission Continues donor list. Its report could be the first step towards impeachment and removal from office.
Greitens is also still facing a lawsuit filed late last year in Cole County court by a pair of St. Louis attorneys alleging that the governor's office used a self-destructing text message app called Confide in order to circumvent the state's open records laws.