March 6, 2019/Press Release

Missouri Democratic Party statement on report that insider had seat at table in Ashcroft inquiry that cleared Hawley.

Kansas City, MO (March 6, 2019) – Today, the Kansas City Star reported that Missouri Solicitor General John Sauer, who served under Attorney General Hawley and now under new Attorney General Eric Schmitt, exercised influence over Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s investigation of whether Josh Hawley violated Missouri election laws.

Missouri Democratic Party Executive Director Lauren Gepford released the following statement:

“Today’s report demonstrates the lengths to which the Missouri GOP statewide ticket will go to protect one another from oversight and accountability. Neither Secretary Ashcroft nor Attorney General Schmitt  engaged in thorough investigative work. Eric Schmitt chaired a dark money group supporting Hawley’s election to the Senate so that he could be appointed the replacement Attorney General. This so called investigation was designed to protect Senator Hawley and the Missouri GOP brand from the start. As a result, Missourians are left with no confidence that truth will prevail over party loyalty.”

 

Background:

 

  • John Sauer is an employee of Schmitt’s Attorney General’s Office and according to the Star’s reporting, was present in interviews with Ashcroft’s investigators “in his official capacity.’ “He was not representing the individuals being interviewed,” according to a spokesperson in Schmitt’s office.
  • AG Schmitt has been asked whether his office, which enforces the Missouri Sunshine Law, would investigate Hawley’s alleged violation of the law while AG and has declined to answer.
  • Now that Senator Hawley has been subpoenaed in a civil lawsuit over his enforcement efforts surrounding widespread Sunshine law violations that occurred on his brief watch as Attorney General, Schmitt remains in hiding over his approach to enforcing the Sunshine Law.