JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – An investigation into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’s political charity claims criminal evidence of wrongdoing, according to Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.
In news conference Tuesday morning in Jefferson City, Hawley said his office uncovered criminal activity by the Greitens campaign when he used a donor list from a charity for political gain.
The specific crime referenced by Hawley appears to relate to computer tampering, a class D felony.
Hawley told reporters that his office does not have jurisdiction in the case to file formal charges.
The case was sent to the St. Louis Prosecutor for possible charges.
The St. Louis Prosecutor's office told 41 Action News they are reviewing the case.
Hawley said the case was also sent to a Missouri Special House Committee investigating the governor.
Gov. Greitens issued the following statement after Hawley's 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.
Luann Feehan, Executive Director of Non-Profit Connect in Kansas City explained there are almost 8,000 charities in Kansas City. Non-Profit Connect has 700 members. Feehan said the Johnson Amendment in the 1950's protects non-profits from partisan politics by forbidding resources such as donor lists or funding from being used for political exploitation.
Feehan said the Hawley's claims that Greitens may have committed a criminal act by using his chairity to raise campaign funding are disturbing.
"Non-profits work so hard in order to have relationships with their donors and make this a positive experience. It's really unfortunate with what Gov. Greitens is accused of because it really erodes what we're trying to achieve in the non-profit sector," said Feehan.
The Executive Director did say she believes violations of the Johnson Amendment are isolated and usually involve politics.