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Ashcroft closes investigation into Hawley's use of state resources

Posted at 10:36 AM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 11:36:07-05

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says his office didn't find evidence to back up allegations that U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley misused public resources while serving as Missouri's attorney general.

Ashcroft announced that he's closing the investigation Thursday.

“Based on the documents my office reviewed, and the interviews conducted, I cannot say that there is reasonable trustworthy information that an offense has been committed," Ashcroft said in a statement announcing his decision. "As such, I decline to issue a statement of probable cause and this investigation is considered closed.”

Ashcroft launched the investigation against fellow Republican Hawley following a complaint by the liberal group American Democracy Legal Fund.

The group alleged in November that Hawley misused state resources because political consultants directed taxpayer-paid staff in the Attorney General's Office to emphasize policies that could help his Senate campaign.

Those consultants later worked for Hawley's successful bid to unseat former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

But Ashcroft says the consultants were used to further Hawley's priorities as attorney general. He says no evidence shows they were used to promote him as a candidate.