Missouri attorney general dismisses call for recusal - KMOV.com

Missouri attorney general dismisses call for recusal

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Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley speaks at a news conference in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jim Salter File) Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley speaks at a news conference in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jim Salter File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A spokeswoman says a request for the Missouri attorney general's office to recuse itself from investigating a charity founded by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is "frivolous."

Greitens' attorney Edward L. Dowd Jr. has raised concerns over Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley's call last week for the governor to resign. Dowd argued that the attorney general's investigation of veterans charity The Mission Continues is compromised because of that.

Hawley called for Greitens to step down after allegations of sexual misconduct outlined in a House investigatory report. Attorney general spokeswoman Mary Compton says that's not related to Hawley's investigation into the charity's possible violations of the state's consumer protection and charitable registration and reporting laws.

A growing number of Missouri elected officials have called on Greitens to step down over allegations of unwanted sexual aggression against a woman with whom he has said he had a consensual extramarital affair in 2015.

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An attorney for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is urging the state's attorney general to recuse his office from an investigation of a veterans charity founded by the governor.

In a letter written Monday and obtained by The Associated Press, attorney Edward L. Dowd Jr. raised concerns over Josh Hawley's comment last week urging Greitens to resign. The letter says Hawley's investigation is "clearly compromised" because he has "predetermined the guilt of his own investigative target."

Hawley's office is investigating The Mission Continues as it relates to the state's consumer protection and charitable registration and reporting laws.

Hawley was among many elected officials urging Greitens' to step down after a report from a special legislative committee on Greitens' extramarital affair with his St. Louis hairdresser in 2015. Testimony cited in the report alleged Greitens was sexually aggressive toward the woman.

In response, Hawley's office said: “The request for the Attorney General’s recusal from his investigation of The Mission Continues is frivolous. The Attorney General called for the Governor’s resignation because the House Investigative Committee concluded there was credible evidence that the Governor committed egregious sexual misconduct. The Attorney General’s investigation into The Mission Continues does not address those allegations. The fact that the Governor has been credibly accused of engaging in sexual misconduct does not give him or any entity with which he was associated immunity from investigation under the Missouri Merchandizing Practices Act (MMPA).”

11:20 a.m.

A top official with the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office says the "egregious mistake" of hiring a man who bungled the investigation of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens should not prompt dismissal of the indictment against the governor.

In a court hearing Monday in Greitens felony invasion-of-privacy case, Chief Trial Assistant Robert Dierker admitted that the actions of William Tisaby have "created a terrible appearance" and given the false impression that the prosecutor's office hid evidence, including delaying handing over notes and a videotape from depositions.

Judge Rex Burlison will rule Thursday on a request from Greitens' lawyers to dismiss the indictment. Greitens is accused of taking a compromising photo of a woman with whom he had an affair without her consent.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner hired Tisaby, a private investigator, rather than relying on St. Louis police for the investigation.

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