Gov. Eric Greitens’ attorneys have asked a Cole County judge to issue a restraining order blocking Attorney General Josh Hawley from investigating the governor.
The motion was filed the night before Hawley announced that his office had uncovered “potentially criminal acts” committed by Greitens regarding his use of a charity’s donor list to benefit his 2016 gubernatorial campaign. He turned over the evidence to the St. Louis prosecutor to consider criminal charges, which he said could be a felony.
Greitens’ attorneys also asked the judge to appoint a special prosecutor, independent of Hawley’s office, for purposes of conducting any such investigation.
The motion argues that Hawley compromised his investigation of the governor when he publicly called on Greitens to resign last week after a report by a House committee detailed allegations of sexual violence and blackmail against Greitens.
Hawley has panned that argument, saying that his comments were about a separate matter — the House report — and had nothing to do with his investigation of the charity.
No action has been taken on the motion.
“AG Hawley must recuse himself and his entire office from any investigation or prosecution related to Gov. Greitens or the Governor’s Office,” the motion reads. “If such investigation or prosecution is to be conducted, it must be conducted by a court-appointed special prosecutor independent of the (attorney general’s office).”
The attorney general's office said Wednesday night that “we look forward to arguing this matter in court."
"The request for the Attorney General’s recusal is frivolous," spokeswoman Mary Compton said in a statement. "The Attorney General called for the Governor’s resignation because the House Investigative Committee reported substantial evidence of sexual, violent misconduct by the Governor. The investigation into The Mission Continues addresses an entirely separate matter.
"The fact that the Governor has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct does not mean he is exempt from investigation into other wrongdoing.”
The governor’s legal team did not respond to a request for comment.