A new Republican Senator comes under investigation before he is even sworn in.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has launched an investigation into the way Attorney General Josh Hawley ran the office, Ashcroft’s deputy general counsel wrote to a Democratic-allied group Thursday.
The American Democracy Legal Fund wrote to Ashcroft on Nov. 2, days before the midterm elections, alleging that Hawley may have “used public funds as Attorney General to support his candidacy for U.S. Senate.”
The complaint came after the Kansas City Star reported on Oct. 31 that political advisers who would run Hawley’s U.S. Senate campaign also directed taxpayer-funded staff, confusing the attorney general office’s chain of command…
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who lost to Hawley in November’s election, argued in the campaign’s closing days that he may have committed a crime by inviting political advisers to manage aspects of his office.
“It is against the law to use state resources for political gain,” McCaskill, a former prosecutor in Kansas City, said. “You cannot use taxpayer-paid staff to assist in any political purpose. The last (Republican) attorney general went to prison for utilizing his office and his state staff to promote him politically. Those are the facts.”
In 1993, Missouri Attorney General William L. Webster was sentenced to two years in prison for conspiracy and embezzlement of state resources after an investigation revealed Webster was using state resources for political purposes.
Hawley supporters are painting the investigation as a partisan attack. However, that defense seems implausible since the person who announced the investigation, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is, like Hawley, a Republican.