'A tremendous disservice to the Constitution'; Greitens' team sp - KMOV.com

'A tremendous disservice to the Constitution'; Greitens' team speaks following donor list report

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(AP Photo/Jeff Curry) (AP Photo/Jeff Curry)

(KMOV.com/AP) - A committee of lawmakers has provided the detailed findings of their report into how a donor list for the charity, The Mission Continues, ended up in the hands of Governor Eric Greitens' campaign. 

The details strike at the heart of the charge of Tampering with Computer Data. Greitens was charged with the crime last month. 

The report says Greitens signed an agreement in 2012 not to disclose confidential information about donors to The Mission Continues. A list of top donors was created in May 2014 for Greitens to call to explain his plans to step down as CEO.

But the report says Greitens later used that list to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign.

Lawmakers interviewed a number of former campaign staffers and staff members of The Mission Continues, including a key witness in the criminal case, and a convicted felon, Dave Whitman, detailed in a report by KMOV.

Greitens founded the charity, intended to help veterans and communities, in 2007. He served as head of the organization and as a board member.

Testimony before the special committee of lawmakers indicated that Greitens had directed an employee to take a list of donors from the charity and use it for campaign purposes. The report indicates that Greitens signed several documents about protecting the charity's information. 

When Meredith Gibbons was hired as Greitens' campaign finance director, documents show that Krystal Taylor, who simultaneously worked for Greitens' personal promotional company The Greitens Group and the Mission Continues, sent her an April 22, 2015, email with The Mission Continues donor list attached — a transmission that was the basis for the charge filed last month.

The report also indicates there was a plan devised about what to tell authorities, regarding a complaint about the list to the Missouri Ethics Commission. 

The report also says a former Greitens' campaign aide testified he was deceived into being listed in an Ethics Commission settlement as providing the charity donor list to Greitens campaign. The aide says that's false.

Transcripts of an aide's testimony included with the report also indicate that Greitens' campaign lied when it settled a Missouri Ethics Commission complaint last year by categorizing the charity list as an in-kind donation valued at $600 provided on March 1, 2015, by Daniel Laub, who had functioned as Greitens' campaign manager.

"The whole document made me sick," Laub said in an April 18 deposition included in the report. "One, because it was misrepresented; and two, because now I was in a round of news stories falsely portraying what happened."

Greiten's legal counsel, Catherine Hanaway released the following statement regarding the report:

     The report released today by Chairman Jay Barnes does a tremendous disservice to the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions. Even a casual observer of our legal process knows that in the United States every American is entitled to their day in court, an opportunity to be heard, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

             Even though the report alleges that a false campaign report was filed, the Chairman did not allow the campaign an opportunity to be heard. He never asked the campaign to testify before his committee, nor did he request that the campaign provide any documents to his Committee. He did not issue any subpoenas on this matter to the campaign. And he certainly did not allow the campaign to be represented by counsel in its hearings nor to cross-examine any witnesses making accusations against it. He did not allow the campaign to confront its accusers or respond to accusations.  If a witness made an allegation, it was accepted as true and republished.

                The sum and substance of the first 70 or so paragraphs outline a charge—that The Mission Continues list was used for campaign purposes—considered and resolved a year ago by the MEC with a $100 fine, less than most speeding tickets. The “big revelation” comes at the end of the report where former campaign manager Danny Laub attempts to say that he was falsely listed as the contributor of the list to the campaign. But if you read the actual testimony, Mr. Laub says Mr. Chambers called him, told him that his name would appear on the campaign finance report, that he was being listed because he was at the campaign at the time—and Mr. Laub agreed.

                If the committee had heard from the campaign, it would have learned that Mr. Laub had possession of the list in early 2015, that the campaign was not formed until then, and that Mr. Laub was the top staff person on the campaign when it began.

This should have been an open process. There is no argument to be made that the identities or testimony of the accusers in this report should be shielded from scrutiny. This is, at its core, a minor campaign finance issue. The report pertains to allegations made about the source of a list used to raise money for a campaign. The witnesses were employees of or consultants to the campaign. Two of them were replaced long before election day. One of them worked for one of the Governor’s opponents in the campaign. And all of them were testifying about the campaign itself.

If Chairman Barnes were on a quest to find out the truth, he has unfinished business to conduct. He ought to ask the campaign for its version of events before acting as judge and jury in a matter that was settled long ago.

The Mission Continues released the following statement:

While we remain steadfastly focused on our mission, we want to share an update involving the investigations of Governor Eric Greitens. As we have said from the beginning, and reiterate here, we abstain from political activities. We deeply value the trust you place in us to accomplish our mission. The Mission Continues did not provide, nor authorize the use of, our donors’ information to any persons or groups for political/campaign purposes. Nor did we promote Governor Greitens for political office.

Earlier today, Missouri State Representative Jay Barnes and the Missouri House Committee released a report with its latest findings regarding The Mission Continues donor list. The report demonstrates The Mission Continues followed all established policies and did not provide, nor authorize the use of, private donor information to the Greitens Group or others affiliated with the Greitens campaign for political purposes.

Former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Edward D. “Chip” Robertson, Jr., counsel to the House Special Investigative Committee later responded with this statement:

Catherine Hanaway is confused about the law of impeachment.  She is fully aware that the House is not convicting anyone.  Rather, the House serves to determine whether a public official should be impeached. Impeachment is akin to an indictment by a grand jury in some, but certainly not all, ways.  Like an indictment, an impeachment is followed by a trial where due process is honored and the official impeached is given a fair hearing. To that end, the House will accept Ms. Hanaway’s offer and will issue subpoenas to the appropriate persons within the campaign.  Indeed, the committee’s report had the desired effect. It caused people associated with the Greitens team to offer to do what they have so far refused to do when asked — to provide information to the committee.

Read the report here.

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